So when a Wynwood hangout celebrates three years of beats and booze, it's a serious accomplishment. Especially when the fete consists of the grand opening of a new upstairs lounge.
That's exactly what will be happening at Cafeina this Thursday when the bar celebrates its third anniversary with the official debut of the 1920s-inspired Mezzanine.
At a time when Wynwood was beginning to make its mark on Miami's culture, Cafeina was the first full liquor bar in the area.
"I saw it more as a coffee shop actually," says Ivette Naranjo, who owns the bar on NW 23rd Street between NW Second and Third avenues. "I heard what was going on in the neighborhood and wanted to add on to it."
Three years later and you've got what many would consider a Wynwood staple.
"The key has been to stay true to the vision, which is a lounge," Naranjo insists.
"[You need to] keep your vision from the beginning and follow through the end. We stay true to Cafeina. It's always been the same."
Yet staying true to your vision doesn't mean you can't reshape the original idea.
A trip to London last summer inspired Naranjo to create something like the service-oriented Mezzanine.
"I really found a lot of the bars were more about service.
"People are looking for that experience of a good cocktail, which was back in the day, the true cocktails. The bartender is into his craft more than serving vodka cranberry and flirting at the bar. It's more of the experience. The drinks that take you back, the furniture."
For Thursday's grand opening of the Mezzanine, Cafeina will be giving away hand-crafted cocktails, custom-created by David Boxwill, from 10 to 11 p.m., along with samples from the lounge's new Latin-infused American bites menu.
To go along with the 1920s theme, burlesque dancers will tease their way through the crowd as DJ A-Train spins (Great Gatsby era-appropriate?) tracks on the turntables.
Although Naranjo plans to expand Cafeina to international airports by 2015, she hopes to call Wynwood home for years to come.
"I couldn't see [Cafeina] anywhere else in Brickell or South Beach. [I'm] keeping it the same, making it a staple in the Wynwood area for a long time."
Cafeina Wynwood's Third Anniversary Bash. With DJ A-Train. Thursday, April 4. Cafeina, 297 NW 23rd St., Miami. The party starts at 10 p.m.; RSVP required via RSVP@cafeinamiami.com. Call 305-438-0797, or visit cafeinamiami.com.
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