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Flex your dominoes skills for prizes at these Miami restaurants

La Placita domino
Photograph: Courtesy La Placita

Who makes up Miami’s latest set of influencers? Elderly Latin men, it seems. The adorable abuelitos known to spend their afternoons shuffling ivory game pieces at Domino Park are shaping evening programming at Miami’s best bars and restaurants. This summer, we’ve seen the domino trend spread to the Upper Eastside, Little Havana (naturally) and Coconut Grove. Typically, games are open to all and feature some sort of drink special (booze makes you a better player) and a big fat prize for the winner. Looking to flex your domino skills? Here’s where to go.

La Placita

Every Tuesday, chef José Mendin challenges his friends to compete in a spirited game of dominos. Teams from local restaurants and bars square off against Mendin and his crew while crowds gather to watch, drink La Placita’s signature cocktails and cheer on their favorites. Upcoming Domino Nights see Mendin and co. going up against Café La Trova’s Michelle Bernstein and Julio Cabrera on August 13. Tue at 7pm


The domino tournaments at Chug’s are scheduled around special events, so they don’t happen regularly but when they do, these game nights are a blast. Coming up on August 15, chef Michael Beltran celebrates his birthday with a game night, featuring a pastelito-eating contest, a Cuban Happy Meal special ($7 for a frita and a beer) and rounds of cornhole and dominos. Aug 15 6–11pm

Ball & Chain

The Little Havana spot hosts Noche de Domino on Tuesdays, a weekly tournament that pits pros from nearby Máximo Gómez Park (where only members are allowed to play) with drop-ins looking to try their luck in a game. Players enter in teams of two and spots are first-come, first served. Weekly prizes include $150 for first place, $100 for second place and $50 for the team that gets third place. All first-place winning teams are automatically entered in a monthly tournament. Tue 6–8pm


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