During a preview last night of The Broken Shaker, Miami's first pop-up bar located at the Indian Creek Hotel, I became convinced of one thing: it's a shame this place will only be around for six months. You'll discover the same thing during the official grand opening on February 2.
There's a lush, cabana-tikki-esque exterior and an old-school antiqued interior. The owners, Gabriel Orta and Elad Zvi, didn't skip a beat when decorating the place "We couldn't afford wallpaper so we covered the walls with fabric," said Orta.
When you walk in, it's as if you've stepped into a time/space portal - I've never been to Cuba, but the interior of The Broken Shaker is how I picture an old, rustic bar on the beach with antique cooling fans, old radios, vintage games of cards, Scrabble and Dominos - it's retro to the max. Orta even built the cabinets.
The homey charm of the place is evident, even with an old black and white photo of Orta's grandmother sitting atop the the shelf.
The drinks were just as eye-popping as the decor. I sipped on two choices from Orta, Ginger & Raspberry (vodka, fresh raspberry, citrus, house-made ginger beer $11) and a glass of the daily rum punch with a sprig of fragrant rosemary. In order to give you a proper taste of the drinks we would've had to drink all night, but for the time being, our say-so will have to suffice. If this gets you in the door, we're happy.
Our only note of criticism was a small component of the "nibbles" on the menu. Orta used his own recipes for dips (raw Indian spread, spicy avocado, and tahini hummus $8) and mini empanadas (sweet plantains and pork, curry samosa, pear and brie $7) that came with a spicy salsa, green goddess dip and a chimichurri. We loved them all but we will say the hummus needed lemon or some other kind of citrus to kick it up. Other than that, we had no qualms.
We were so impressed with the turn-out of the evening; it was beyond packed -- on a Monday night. Perhaps because it was opening night? Maybe it was all of Orta's and Zvi's friends? Whatever the case was, a laid back, bohemian vibe was ever present and it seemed as if all guests were genuinely enjoying themselves.