Wedged between rolling skyscrapers and discount marts, you'll find downtown's Mama Tried, a quaint lounge serving up cocktails and retro vibes. Partners Dan Binkiewicz of Sweet Liberty and Purdy Lounge, Mauricio Lacayo of the Bend, and Domingo Murillo from Sidebar celebrated their soft opening only weeks ago, yet hundreds of cocktail mavens filed into the bar on a recent warm Friday evening.
The location was once home to Pub One, a gritty dive bar known for its billowing cigarette smoke and neighborhood likeability. Now, neon beer signs have given way to midcentury lamps and a '70s motif. Crimson carpets run wall to wall, with a series of leather booths and highboys on each end. The focal point is the oblong-shaped bar equipped with ample counter space and chic stools. An illuminated ceiling simulates shooting stars and constellations while you sit back with a well-crafted negroni or classic daiquiri.
“We wanted the bar to have a retro Vegas feel to it. Patrons can expect an exceptional menu focused on classic cocktails with a twist,” Murillo says. In addition to riffs on old fashioneds
and martinis ranging from $12 to $15, guests can get their hands on massive disco punch bowls, aptly served in a disco ball for about $50. Daily happy hours that run until 8 p.m. sweeten the deal.
In terms of food, a bar menu is slated for the coming months. Items will include freshly pressed sandwiches and other small bites at affordable prices. Bar programming like Triv-Oke Mondays, a trivia/karaoke hybrid, and Disco Sinferno Sundays are scheduled throughout the week, providing downtown denizens with nightly neighborhood entertainment.
While the venue underwent a makeover, the spirit of the previous tenant remains with its pool table, cigarette machine, and local appeal. "We want the bar to have a neighborhood vibe," Murillo says. The overall experience transports you to another time and place while instilling that at-home feeling.
Mama Tried. 207 NE First St., Miami; 786-803-8087; mamatriedmia.com. Daily 3 p.m. to 5 a.m.