Cocktails & Spirits

Abbey Brewing Co. Turns 18; Owner Raymond Rigazio Talks About Changes

In a city that sees more openings and closings in a month than many places do in a year, it's rare for a bar or restaurant to make it to the 18th-anniversary mark. But Miami Beach's iconic Abbey Brewing Company is about to do just that later this month, which is serious cause for celebration.

June 30, the brew den will host an anniversary party complete with drink specials, a pig roast, and lots of other fun stuff on tap (so to speak). To mark this notable occasion, we spoke with owner Raymond Rigazio about what has changed in the past 18 years, what it's like being a brewmaster, and which patron he misses most.

See also:

- Best Bar Renovation: The Abbey Brewing Co.

Short Order: What do you have planned for the anniversary party?

Raymond Rigazio: In addition to the drink specials, one-hour open bar, and pig roast, we will be giving the first 300 Abbey patrons a complimentary commemorative event cup with the date, time, logo, and location of our event. This has been a tradition since year one. I know at least one Abbey patron who has collected all of the cups to date!

How has Miami Beach changed since the Abbey opened?

When I first opened the Abbey in the spring of 1995, there was a park -- a miniature version of Flamingo Park -- where the Regal Cinemas building and parking garage sit today. The corner west of the Abbey, where McDonald's resides, was a vacant lot. My friend Hoover wanted to sell Christmas trees from that lot during the holiday season to supplement his income. Yes, I can honestly say there have been many changes on the Beach, just steps away from the Abbey.

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Hannah Sentenac covers veg food, drink, pop culture, travel, and animal advocacy issues. She is also editor-in-chief of
Contact: Hannah Sentenac

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