Cocktails & Spirits

The Sylvester, a Cocktail and Coffee Bar With CBD Upgrades, to Open in Boombox Space

Ben Potts and Brian Nasajon are opening the Sylvester, a Miami-themed cocktail and coffee bar with optional CBD upgrades.

The bar, set to debut sometime this month, is located in the former Boombox space. The duo opened Boombox (in the former Bardot space) in November 2018.  At the same time, they did a refresh on their Mason Eatery space next door. A month ago, Mason closed.

Now the two creatives are returning to their roots with a concept closer to their successful Beaker & Gray, just a few blocks south. Potts says of opening the Sylvester in the former Boombox space: "While Boombox was the concept we designed it to be, our guests wanted more of what makes Beaker & Gray such an amazing experience. Not just a great atmosphere, but cocktails by Ben Potts and cuisine by chef Brian Nasajon together."

The Sylvester will offer updated takes on classic cocktails using locally sourced, sustainable ingredients. Led by Potts, the bar team will include bar managers Derek Stilmann and Rani Cassuola, who will create drinks like the Jai Alai Mai Tai with Plantation rum, Redemption rye, coconut orgeat, carrot, and mascarpone foam; and the Ñooo, Que Frio! with Bacardi cuatro, liquid nitrogen-muddled mint, green apple absinthe, and sparkling wine.

The Sylvester will also serve extensive nonalcoholic beverages, including coffees from local roaster Great Circle Coffee, as well as mushroom tea, cocoa, and kombucha on tap.

All drinks can be upgraded with CBD, AKA cannabidiol, a legal, nonintoxicating marijuana extract believed to relieve pain and inflammation.

Brian Nasajon has created a complementary food menu he describes as "fun bites influenced by Miami culture." Items will include barbecue mariquitas with spicy Parmesan cheese dip and green mojo, smoked fish dip with garlic cream cheese, and salt ‘n’ vinegar wontons, snacks, and desserts by pastry chef John Maieli. Menu prices are not yet available.

To suit the mood of the Sylvester, the 3,400-square-foot space will be decorated with vintage wallpaper that evokes a nostalgic, tropical feel. Retro furnishings, a pool table, a pinball machine, and a library of board games will round out the experience. “We wanted to create a unique, inclusive space with something for everyone, a place where you would want to be stuck in a hurricane,” Potts says.

The Sylvester will initially be open Tuesday through Saturday from 4 p.m. for afternoon coffee, bites, and drinks. In the evening, it will offer cocktails and a more extensive food menu.

The Sylvester. 3456 N. Miami Ave., Miami; thesylvesterbar.com. Opening April 2019.
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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss