It might have been short-lived, but the downtown Miami bar Libertine was an interesting experiment. In 2015, a first-floor room of the megaclub Space was walled off. Owners created a separate entrance and delivered something different.
Libertine started out strong, but fickle Miami crowds quickly abandoned it. The venue was left to languish without focus.
Now Space has new ownership: David Sinopoli of the III Points
Rechristened Floyd, the room hasn't changed dramatically. Familiar elements such as the bar and chandeliers remain. But the space feels larger thanks to the removal of the platform that made up the VIP table section.
"Floyd is our first offering to the public," Sinopoli says.
According to Sinopoli, the partners took a step back to rethink how to best use the venue. What they came back with is a more mature space that offers well-made cocktails and live music such as jazz, lounge, and even chamber orchestra. It is less intimidating than the party-till-sunrise marathon that happens upstairs. The place is located in Miami's 24-hour district, so it might stay open until 7 a.m., with more soulful house playing in the early-morning hours. It will also be open more often than Space.
"Saturday, the [Space] Terrace is a ritual," Sinopoli says. "Floyd is going to be an everyday bar for industry or people leaving the Arsht Center or a Miami Heat game or [who've] just left work and want to see a jazz band. We are going after a demographic that doesn't go to 11th Street at all right now... that goes to hotel or jazz bars, a little bit more refined taste that still likes to have fun but doesn't like the pretense of feeling like they are in a stuffy establishment."
Floyd is also an attempt to get the general public to see Space as more than just an after-hours spot, Sinopoli says. Perhaps those turned off by party mayhem will try Floyd or the soon-to-open live-music venue.
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"I think the classic cocktails are the root of everything," says Espineira, who worked for Soho Beach House and East Miami before joining the Space team. "There's been a lot of thought put into it, and we've selected the best bartenders in town. It's very easy to make a classic cocktail, but to make it right is quite difficult."
For Espineira, it's about bringing real music and cocktails together in the right environment.
"I don't consider [Floyd] a nightclub; I consider it a lounge. You aren't going to hear big bass or hip-hop or techno. It's going to be very classy, and we are going to keep it that way."
10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Thursday through Saturday, 34 NE 11th St., Miami; 305-363-2120; facebook.com/floydmia.