Everything you need to know about this Little Havana gem, Ball & Chain (1513 SW 8th St).
Today’s Ball & Chain is a recreation of a 1930s hotspot that once occupied the same space and welcomed jazz superstars like Billie Holiday, Count Basie and Chet Baker to its stage. Across from the historic Tower Theater, the Ball & Chain has its own storied past filled with Jewish and Cuban community influences.
Cuban food and festive cocktails
The bar program, created by the top mixologists at the Regent Cocktail Club, is a smattering of classics (margaritas and mojitos) and new-wave drinks unique to Ball & Chain. We recommend sampling a few Cuban-inspired cocktails: the Mojito Criollo (made the classic way with the mint leaves left intact for enhanced aroma, and more sugar), the Canita (white rum, lime, house-made honey syrup, guarapo or sugarcane juice, sugarcane stick) and the Pastelito Daiquiri (pastelito-infused aged rum, lime, simple syrup, and a side of pastelitos or guava pastries).
While you won't go to Ball & Chain for a full meal, the restaurant's menu of small bites make for delectable bar snacks. Order enough and you could be enjoying an incredible tapas-style dinner. The Cuban sandwich rolls are a definite crowd pleaser—think deep-fried layers of roasted pork and ham—as are the fried plantain chips. You can never eat just one.
Music, then and now
Who performed at Ball & Chain? The better question is, who didn't? Most of the country's greatest jazz musicians have graced the stage at Ball & Chain, from Count Bassie and Nat King Cole to Tito Puente, Jr. These days, local bands such as Spam Allstars and crooners such as the likes of Brendan O'Hara are part of the regular circuit of performers at the club's unique pineapple stage. Expect live jazz at 6pm sharp Thursday through Saturday. On Saturdays, a wild Cuban fiesta, La Pachanga, kicks off around 9pm when salsa dancers take to the bar.
Our Miami editorial team is constantly updating and reviewing the best attractions, activities and venues across the city, so that you're always in the know, with the best of Miami at your fingertips. Ball & Chain was most recently updated with new tips on June 28, 2017.