Prohibition: Speakeasy Vibe Coming to Midtown

Prohibition, a new restaurant and lounge, is set to open this month in midtown in the former George's Kitchen space.

Taking a cue from its name, the place will have a Chicago speakeasy vibe, with servers dressed in newsboy caps and ties, à la 1930s.

The restaurant, located in the former George's Kitchen & Loft space, is the vision of owner Shawn Shahnazi, who has more than two decades of restaurant and club experience in Miami and was the owner of Karma in Coral Gables and Envy nightclub in downtown Miami.

Short Order visited Shahnazi while work was being done on the space, which is scheduled to open in April. Interior changes include expanding the restaurant's seating around the open kitchen to include a bar area and making the upstairs lounge and first-floor dining room more separate entities. Shahnazi explains he doesn't want diners to have to feel like they're eating in a club if they're looking for a more intimate experience while enjoying their meal.

The food, by the way, is an eclectic mix of favorites with an emphasis on small plates for sharing. Although the menu hasn't been finalized (and prices are not yet available), a preliminary rundown of dishes includes char-grilled octopus, escargots, lobster truffle macaroni and cheese, chorizo croquettes, beef carpaccio, and hummus.

Dinner-size entrées include steak frites, slow-roasted short rib, Wagyu skirt steak, and pan-roasted salmon with couscous and vegetables.

Of course, any place called Prohibition better be on its A-game with cocktails. Classic cocktails will be made with fresh fruits, individual mixers (no soda guns), and quality bitters. The drinks menu, featuring quality spirits, will be pared down to about a dozen selections from the Prohibition era.

Shahnazi also plans to have special themed nights, including speakeasy parties where you enter through the back door with a "secret word," and will offer residents of midtown and Wynwood special VIP cards that offer deals and benefits.

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