Brickell, Miami's financial district, keeps growing. It's Wall Street in a tropical setting, featuring a roster of skyscrapers, retail spots, and dining and entertainment venues, with plenty of spots to unwind from long days of working and fighting the dense traffic.
Adding casual and vibrant energy to the neighborhood is Sweet Caroline, a karaoke hangout where fun cocktails are the big players and the atmosphere is rowdy and warm.
Juan Marcos Rancano opened the bar last summer, together with Dobri Dimitrov and Antar Sosa, the owners of RedBar.
"We thought that the Brickell area deserved something different," Rancano says. "Foot traffic was taken to Wynwood, and we wanted to create a similar atmosphere, a casual, nonpretentious ambiance where people can just have fun, be themselves, not have to worry about what they are wearing."
Because Sweet Caroline has a specific focus, it brings together a refreshingly mixed crowd that is consistent in their singalong. There's a collection of over 200,000 song titles and renditions for patrons to choose from and a DJ who serves as the host five days a week.
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The space, a combination of tables and high-top seating, features a vintage-style decor in dark red and brown colors, with gutted speakers and vintage posters of bands and singers and wall of logs. The high energy and camaraderie at the 1,184-square-foot venue kicks off every evening, from Tuesday to Sunday. Between the inside lounge and the outside patio, the bar can accommodate 150 patrons.
Sweet Caroline's full bar includes beer selections like Bud Light, Goose IPA, and Miller Lite ($7) along with Corona, Stella, Heineken, and Lagunitas IPA ($8). The list of "liquid courage" also features special $12 signature cocktails, like the Bohemian Rhapsody with Ketel One, basil, lime, and ginger beer; the dark-colored Purple Rain with peach, raspberry, orange juice, pineapple, and red wine; or the ode to the Beatles, the Hey Jude, with bourbon, Amaro, Campari, and lemon. There' s also a Hotel California with tequila, jalapeño, celery, cilantro, pineapple, and lime; and the Tainted Love with bourbon, strawberries, vanilla, and macaroon syrup.
The entertainment also includes a Tuesday comedy night and a special ladies night on Wednesdays, when there's an open bar on select drinks from 6 p.m. to midnight. Daily happy hour is from 6 to 9 p.m., with
Sweet Caroline. 1111 SW First Ave., Miami; 786-740-2672, sweetcarolinebar.com. Tuesday from Saturday 6 p.m. to 4 a.m.; Sundays 8 p.m. to 4 a.m.