Bona fide boozehounds know the best drinking happens on weeknights, when beverage-industry pros make their rounds to the best local watering holes. Why party on a school night? Smaller crowds, better service and the chance to try whatever new cocktail the bartender is testing. Look left: You might even bump into your favorite barkeep from around town.
The Broken Shaker may get all the nightlife love, but it’s the adjacent restaurant and bar that insiders adore. The second-floor spot is kitschy and cozy and provides just the right amount of dim light for those looking to keep their Monday-night carousing under wraps. Feeling daring? Try the bartender’s choice, which is whatever head honcho Randy Perez dreams up.
Even bartenders who avoid the hard stuff when they’re off the clock can’t pass up a spirit-forward drink at Beaker & Gray, where bar manager Ben Potts makes one of the most balanced tipples in town: In-the-know guests favor the Lavagave, which blends tequila, mescal, vanilla bitters, citrus and egg glair. Tuesday is the best night to visit, as it’s when crowds are light and the typically brunch-only Wagyu burger is available upon special request.
The industry loves Sweet Liberty, which earned the title of Best New American Cocktail Bar at 2016’s Tales of the Cocktail festival; so expect to find acclaimed bartenders, such as co-owner John Lermayer, making drinks. One Wednesday each month, Miami cantinero Julio Cabrera mans Cuban-inspired pop-up Cuba Libre featuring daiquiris, music by Grammy-winning singer Jorge Moreno and lots of dancing.
Isaac Grillo’s retro-themed spot is a popular late-night watering hole, especially on Thursdays when he hosts Rhythm and Remedies, a ’90s party fueled by hip-hop and cheekily named drinks (think A Ballet of Emotion). It’s the best night to see Grillo and his bartender squad in their element, though finding room on one of the couches won’t be easy.
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