Keep This Pair of New Miami Speakeasies on Your Nightlife Radar

By Katie Jackson and Carla Torres | October 17, 2019 | Food & Drink

Miamians love great food. We love great food with a hidden bar even more. Let’s welcome the newest additions to the secret speakeasy roster.

THE DEVIL DRINKS TEQUILA

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The devil is in the details in Don Diablo speakeasy.

Picture this: It’s a Friday night. You’ve just had a few drinks at happy hour and you want to grab a bite before seeing where the night takes you. You want something fast that doesn’t skimp on flavor. Oh, and you want it to be worthy of an IG story, obviously. Enter El Santo Restaurant & Taqueria, Calle Ocho’s newest hot spot. The Mexican destination/Instagram wonderland serves traditional Mexican fare in an adorably decorated space (pink neon signs, colorfully tiled walls). You get the mojo pork carnitas style, with a side of the freshly pounded guacamole, and finish it all off with a Nutella churro.

Now that you’ve satisfied your late-night craving, you’re intrigued by the adjacent space hidden behind the massive hacienda doors under the giant cross emblazoned with the words “Jesus Saves.” You step inside to find yourself in an old resurrected church, where El Santo invites you to worship tacos and tequila. There’s an altar decked out with Paschal candles. There’s a huge “Talk to God” sign. And there’s an antique chapel piano (aka the DJ booth). You sit down at one of the “ofrenda”-style tables and post more stories to IG because your followers have to see this. But wait—you spot the red velvet drapes in the back, and you swear you hear more music. You need to check this situation out, pronto.

You swing the curtains open to find that you’re now in (hell) Don Diablo speakeasy. There are neon skulls. There’s a pair of skeleton statues doing things in the corner that we’re not allowed to say in print. The DJ booth is now a wooden coffin. You order a Santo Pecado (Mezcal Sacrvm, jicama, CBD) and a round of tequila shots because why the hell not? It’s crazy and it’s cool, and now you know where your Friday night is ending (even though it’s only just beginning). 1620 SW Eighth St., Miami, 786.360.6019

HOT FOR HIALEAH

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La Cocina is Hialeah’s first proper “cocteleria,” inside Stephen’s Delicatessen.

When Matt Kuscher left his management post at Hillstone to bring farm-to-table burger joint LoKal to Coconut Grove, the last thing the third-generation restaurateur thought was that he’d eventually be resurrecting South Florida’s oldest Jewish delicatessen to its heyday splendor.

Yet that’s exactly what he’s done with the revival of Stephen’s Deli, preserving New York’s old-school deli culture and imbuing it with a Miami twist (and Seinfeld theme) “in a place most people would never think of,” says Kuscher, referring to Hialeah.

But in true Matt Kuscher style, he paired the Stephen’s Deli revival with a second concept that appears to make no sense at all, but is actually a stroke of pure genius.

A not-so-secret door in the wildly themed bathrooms of the deli (the women’s WC is a turquoise, pink and gold homage to the astrologer Walter Mercado) leads you right into La Cocina, Hialeah’s first proper “cocteleria,” where each drink has been crafted by what Kuscher considers one of Miami’s top barkeeps and puts a 305 spin on a classic. Take the Ñooo Que Bueno, created by Real Havana Club brand ambassador Gio Gutierrez. It pairs rum with a shot of cold-brew coffee and has a lemon peel stamped with “F*ck Fidel.” Cocktails made with classic Cuban sodas also carry cheeky names, like Pata Sucia and Piñaso.

So while delicatessen enthusiasts can relish in artisanal N.Y.-style handcut pastrami sandwiches and deli staples like matzo ball soup, chopped liver and egg salad, anyone looking to heat up the night in Hialeah can find their fuel next door at La Cocina. It’s a “Jewban” fusion that you could only ever find in the Magic City. 1000 E. 16th St., Hialeah, 305.887.8863



Photography by: DON DIABLO PHOTO BY PAUL STOPPI; LA COCINA PHOTO COURTESY OF KUSH HOSPITALITY