New Little Havana restaurant wants to take you back to 1940s Cuba (and feed you seafood)

The interior of Sala’o Cuban Bar & Pescaderia pays homage to Ernest Hemingway.
The interior of Sala’o Cuban Bar & Pescaderia pays homage to Ernest Hemingway.

Seafood is king in the Caribbean, and the newest restaurant in Little Havana is paying tribute to it - and Ernest Hemingway.

Located on Calle Ocho - where else? - Sala’o Cuban Bar & Pescaderia opens May 27, and with it comes a slice of 1940s Havana.

The 2,300-square-foot restaurant seats 85 customers, with 15 more at the bar, which will focus on classic Cuban cocktail recipes. We suspect rum will be involved.

Naturally, there’s a mural of Ernest Hemingway on one of the walls. The restaurant’s press release reports that the menu is inspired by the small fishing village of Cojimar in Cuba, where the writer kept his boat. The concept of “salao” comes from Hemingway’s iconic novel “The Old Man and the Sea,” referring to how unlucky the old fisherman is.

Dining Room.JPG
The dining room of Sala’o seats 85, with 15 more seats at the bar.

Here’s hoping Sala’o will have a better fate.

Chef Jorge Mas, who previously worked in the Cayman Islands, will create dishes from fresh fish delivered daily from the Florida Keys.

“We want our dishes to bring memories,” owners Eliesteban Mena and Oscar Rodriguez said in a press release. Mena and Rodriguez also opened Old’s Havana Cuban Bar and Cocina just a few blocks away.

The grand opening is May 27, but if you want an early look at the lunch menu, come in for the soft opening from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. May 23-26.


Sala’o Cuban Bar & Pescaderia

  • Where: 1642 SW Eighth St., Miami
  • Open: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday-Wednesday; 11 a.m.-midnight Thursday-Saturday. Happy hour is from 4-8 p.m. Monday-Friday with daily food specials and live music.

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