Miami's MiMo District has gotten its own weekend tiki lair with the opening of Madame Phuong Cocktail + Den at Phuc Yea.
The bar, open Thursday through Saturday, boasts a midcentury-modern-goes-tropics vibe with vintage rattan seating and Chinese lucky cats gracing the walls alongside murals by Miami artist Miguel Paredes.
Phuc Yea's Aniece Meinhold and Cesar Zapata partnered with nightlife guru Mykel Stevens to create the lounge, which offers tiki cocktails, light bites, and music.
Meinhold says Madame Phuong is just what the neighborhood needs. "We recognized there aren't many places in MiMo for people to hang out and have a cocktail and a bite in a comfortable environment."
Why not just keep the restaurant open late on weekends? Meinhold says the partners wanted to design an environment that was different from the usual Phuc Yea experience. "We wanted to create a fun space with entertainment."
Meinhold calls the cocktails "neo-tiki" because they have roots in traditional tiki drinks, which are usually fruity, spicy, and boozy, but with surprising flavor twists. "We're taking a page out of the tiki book by blending the spicy and tropical notes," Meinhold says. "Instead of Caribbean, we're going with Southeast Asian notes." The other difference between Madame Phuong's cocktails and most other tiki drinks: "People think of tiki as sweet, and these are very balanced."
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The neo-tiki drinks ($14 each) include the Phuc It, Just Drink Me (made with toasted-coconut Havana Club rum and Giffard pineapple) and the Tear of a Tiger's Eye (Jack Daniel's rye, Suntory Toki, house-made orgeat, lemon, and tiki bitters).
Late-night bites include piquant Buffalo oyster bites ($12), P.Y. noodles ($10), caramel chicken wings ($12), and a soulful bowl of beef pho, served from midnight to closing. The pho will cost $10 for the first few weekends as an introductory special (regularly priced at $16 a bowl).
The musical lineup and venue will change according to the weather, with Latin jazz in the garden on cool evenings and guest DJs spinning in the lobby other nights. In addition, a late-night happy hour will offer specially priced drinks from 10 p.m. to midnight.
Madame Phuong Cocktail + Den at Phuc Yea. 7100 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-602-3710; phucyea.com. Lounge open Thursday through Saturday 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Late-night happy hour 10 p.m. to midnight.