Miami Beach's South of Fifth neighborhood (SoFi) is quickly becoming a desired destination for dining — and, more recently, drinking. Popular newcomers such as Upland, Bakehouse Brasserie, and Now & Zen are sparking renewed interest in the area. Now there's one more reason to make a night of it: South Pointe Tavern.
South Pointe Tavern (40 South Pointe Dr., Miami Beach) is located at the prior Bar Crudo spot, right in the nook of SoFi. Partners Martin Cabrera, Jordan Levy, and Stephen Temes are locals who wanted to create a good watering hole. Cabrera, who owned Nave Beach for the past eight years, chose SoFi because he thought the area needed a casual yet elegant spot with reasonable prices and high quality. “Our mission is to cater to all locals, make new friends with tourists, and bring them together with exceptional quality and service.”
The partners designed the space to create a warm and cozy feel with a great vibe. “We wanted to make it a real home type of feeling,” Cabrera says.
The bar is stocked with more than 160 bottles of whiskey and about 80 bottles of tequila. According to the head bartender, Marinko Rankovic, they’re still adding more. Cocktails play on classics such as negronis, old-fashioneds, and highballs. The bestseller is the South Pointe Tavern old-fashioned, made with a reduction of Left Hand Coffee, Jim Beam Black, aromatic bitters, and orange oils.
“The cocktails are designed to be crafty and fun for everyone," Marinko says, "with fresh ingredients and quality spirits.” The Miami State of Mind, the barman's favorite cocktail on the menu, combines watermelon, spices, and tequila.
The bar food here isn’t your average chicken wings and burgers. Instead, think layers of pastrami stuffed between hearty slices of Zak the Baker rye bread ($14), kale caesar salad ($12), tuna crudo ($16), and an artisanal cheese plate ($18).
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The tavern also serves breakfast daily from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Pastries include croissants, almond pear danishes, and chocolate rye cookies ($3.50 to $4.50 each). Zak the Baker avocado toast is topped with a poached egg ($14), and traditional eggs Benedict is offered with Canadian bacon ($12) or smoked salmon ($14).
Budget-conscious drinkers should seek out the tavern's happy hour, when cocktails, beer, and wine are half-price from 5 to 7 p.m. weekdays. Tuesday is taco night, so scarf some down for $5 each with a flight of tequilas ($20 to $30). On Whiskey Wednesday, try a future favorite from the extensive selection at half off.
If South Pointe Tavern reminds you of a famed television watering hole, it's not a coincidence. “We want it to be like Cheers, where everyone knows you by your first name and treats you like one of the family," Cabrera says. "We love talking to our guests and getting to know them on a personal level.”