We’re old enough to remember a time when nightlife in Downtown Miami consisted of the Daquiri Bar at Bayside. It’s been quite an evolution, and, unlike some other nocturnally stagnant areas of town, the disco Darwinism continues.
Enter Mama Tried, the latest from Dan Binkiewicz, co-founder behind Purdy Lounge, Sweet Liberty and Blackbird Ordinary, plus Mauricio Lacayo of The Bend Liquor Lounge. The duo has also collaborated with Sidebar Miami’s Domingo Murillo, among other nightlife vets.
Located at 207 NE 1st St., the self-professed “upscale dive” is, says Bunkiewicz, “a group effort from an enthusiastic crew of people who share the same passion to see something weird, different and affordable in Downtown Miami. From the programming, to the wall decor, to the menu, everywhere you look, we took risks.”
The 2,250 square foot spot was designed by Binkiewicz with an old Vegas dive bar as his muse. There’s also Pac Man, juke box, pool table, TVs and a Bookleggers Library, the local nonprofit that gives free books to the city of Miami founded and operated by Mama Tried partner, Nathaniel Sandler.
The cocktail menu is a mashup of classics and modern designed by Sweet Liberty’s Tyler Kitzman. Daily happy hours will run from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. A menu by former Miami Heat chef Michael Jacobs offers comfort faves including PB&J, grilled cheese and bologna sandwiches.
As for the music, expect to hear everything from old school classics to new school hits that make you yearn for the old school classics. Special “nights” include R&B on Tuesdays, Ladies’ Night on Wednesdays, “Satan’s River” country music night on Thursdays, local DJs on Fridays and Saturdays , and hearkening back to the South Beach halcyon days on Sundays is “Disco Sinferno.”
“Downtown Miami is special to me,” Binkiewicz says. “My first job was here as a young man. The neighborhood is edgy, it’s gritty and we think we’ve built something that fits just right.”
And wonderfully weird. Welcome to the hood, Mama. We have a feeling you won’t have to try so hard to fit right in.
Mama Tried, 207 NE 1st St., Miami; Open 3 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily