Sweet Liberty partner Joshua Wagner tells New Times the idea for an outdoor extension came about during the bar's seven-month shutdown last year.
“We had a reset moment when we took time off because of the pandemic,” Wagner explains. “Sweet Liberty has been open again for a couple of months now, enhanced with all social distancing and some outdoor seating, but it’s still incredibly busy and sometimes at capacity. In these times it's important to make all types of guests comfortable, so we moved forward with Sweet Beach for all those who wanted Sweet Liberty outside.”
Located two blocks east of Sweet Liberty's home base on 20th Street and Liberty Avenue, Sweet Beach offers tables and lounge seating for 80 guests.
“We wanted to keep the pop-up in the neighborhood, for those who wanted to start outdoors then move indoors for more food and drinks,” says Wagner. “The Shelborne was a great partner to approach. The back lawn wasn't being utilized except for social events. The location has a unique vantage point and you can see and access the pop-up from the boardwalk. It is also a great introduction for those not familiar to Sweet Liberty.”
Sweet Liberty was founded in 2016 by restaurateur David Martinez, Blackbird Ordinary's Dan Binkiewicz, and the late world-class bartender John Lermayer, as a hangout where locals could gather for proper cocktails and a killer menu by James Beard Award-winning chef Michelle Bernstein. It quickly rose to fame, winning several Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards and recognition as one of the World's 50 Best Bars.
“In true Sweet Liberty fashion, all are welcome, including families and children,” Wagner notes.
Renowned bartender and drinks writer Naren Young runs the cocktail program, a menu that includes a strawberry-ginger highball made with Teeling Irish whiskey, amontillado sherry, and spicy ginger beer ($15); and a negroni frappe made with Ilegal mezcal, Martini rosso, Martini bitters, vanilla, and a prosecco float ($15).
The menu of globally inspired dishes includes tamarind-glazed barbecue chicken wings ($14) and a churrasco báhn mì with pickled daikon and carrots, kimchi aioli, and fries ($17).
Those who visit for happy hour can take advantage of drink specials and a $9 deal for two lobster rolls. On Sundays, the pop-up will host a barbecue event with live DJ music.
Sweet Beach at the Shelborne South Beach. 1801 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; shelborne.com. Thursday and Friday 4 to 11 p.m., Saturday and Sunday noon to 11 p.m.