Beer & Wine

Panther After Dark: Panther Coffee in Little Haiti Transforms into a Chill Wine Bar

Panther Coffee Little Haiti transforms into Panther After Dark.
Panther Coffee Little Haiti transforms into Panther After Dark. Photo by Saul Rappio
When Panther opened more than a decade ago, the coffee shop run by Joel and Leticia Pollock gave Miamians a craft coffee experience.

Panther sources beans from farms worldwide, roasting them onsite to ensure the highest quality coffee for its customers.

The original Wynwood location soon became one of the most visited spots in Miami, with people enjoying a coffee under the shop's giant shaded tree. Over the years, Panther has opened locations in Coconut Grove, Miami Beach, MiMo, and Little Haiti, but one thing was missing: enjoying Panther's chill coffee culture in the evening.

Starting on April 19, Miamians can enjoy Panther every evening when the Little Haiti location introduces Panther After Dark.

Each evening at 5 p.m. Panther Coffee Little Haiti will turn into Panther After Dark, a natural wine bar that will offer a relaxed place to gather with friends for a glass of wine, some food, good vibes, and — of course — some fantastic coffee.

Panther cofounder Leticia Pollock says that she saw the need for a place where Miamians could go that wouldn't break the bank. "You want to go have a glass of wine with a friend, but sometimes places are stuffy, and you have to drop twenty bucks for a glass. It ends up not being fun. We wanted to create a laidback, affordable, everyday hangout."

Pollock says that the couple and cofounders had been tasting natural wines and thought turning Panther into an evening wine bar was the perfect plan. "We love wine, and it makes sense for us. We own the Little Haiti location — we purchased the building in 2014 — and we wanted to activate the space for the neighborhood. This is meant to bring the community together in Miami. We don't have a lot of opportunities to just be together and chat. We want to create that space here."

A sommelier in Brazil, Pollock says she's always maintained her passion for wine, even as coffee consumed her life. "I've kept wine as a hobby as Panther took off."  She's chosen a selection of natural wines that are both affordable and interesting, with glasses starting at $8 and full bottles as low as $22. "The wines are incredible, and I'm super excited to share some really fun stuff. They're not fancy wines, but they are intriguing and different." The list, which will rotate, includes some reds, whites, and a rosé to start.

Guests can pour a taste, a half glass, or a full glass from Panther After Dark's Wine-o-Matic machines.

The Pollocks have partnered with rotating local food trucks that will offer food each evening. In addition, Panther After Dark will offer cheese boards and charcuterie.

If you're not feeling wine or coffee, Panther After Dark will have a selection of craft beers and a menu of zero-proof mocktails — some with CBD.

Expect some evening activations like trivia nights and live acoustic music in the coming weeks. If Panther After Dark proves successful, it might grow to other Panther Coffee locations. Says Pollock, "This is all about being part of the community. We don't want to be the place where you have to drop $50 just to go out. We want to be more chill."

Panther After Dark. Nightly 5 to 11 p.m. at Panther Coffee Little Haiti. 5934 NW Second Ave., Miami; panthercoffee.com.
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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss

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