Sports bars are usually convivial places to get together with friends to watch the game and hoist a few. But though they're often homey and inviting, most aren't considered elegant.
Enter Black Market Miami, a swanky bar that recently opened in downtown Miami. It's the creation of Red Rabbit Presents, composed of Shane Vernon, Erick Passo, and Michael Mora. This is the nightlife team's first brick-and-mortar, and the logo is represented by a glowing bunny displayed front and center at the bar.
Dubbed a "sports club," the 5,500-square-foot space offers everything a sports fan could want: more than 30 4K TV screens, a pool table, arcade games, and game-day specials.
One glance, however, will show that this is no ordinary place to watch football. Wood paneling in soft tones is lit by candles and Edison-style light bulbs. Seating options range from high-tops for after-work crowds to cozy banquettes worthy of a date night. A private room can be reserved for watch parties or meetings.
A long, inviting bar offers not only beer but also crafted caipirinhas, martinis, and Moscow mules ($12). There's even sparkling rosé ($8).
The food menu is concise and lists classics to watch the Heat by: Black Market chicken wings marinated in either honey mustard or classic sauce in hot, medium, or mild (six for $9, a dozen for $13.50); "no-name" pulled pork sliders, served with slaw ($11.50); and Big Three sliders with cheddar and apple cider bacon ($14.50) are all solid choices. Be fancy and add truffle Parmesan fries ($7) or a kale salad ($6).
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The big draw here is the nostalgia factor. Giant murals depict Miami sports legends such as Don Shula, Dan Marino, and Muhammed Ali, and an entire wall is dedicated to the Orange Bowl in its heyday. Take a moment from your beer to drink in Miami's rich sports history.
With daily happy hour from 4 to 8 p.m., game-day specials, and guest DJs on weekend nights, Black Market might become downtown's Cheers.
Black Market Miami
168 SW First St., Miami; 305-400-8023; blackmarketmiami.com. Daily noon to 2 a.m.