Hip hotel brand Life House (Terras, Layla) took over a charming Tudor-style cottage in the South of Fifth neighborhood, but that’s not the most exciting news. Inside the boutique property is a laid-back, surf-inspired café that’s putting the beach back in South Beach.
Pretty Swell draws from Australia’s café culture known for its specialty coffee and healthy fare, both of which you’ll find here. The menu is replete with good-for-you dishes, including acai bowls, fresh-pressed juices and various toasts. In the evening, Pretty Swell channels other coastal cities—think Mykonos, Phuket and Ensenada—to provide a selection of shareable light bites, such as dips and ceviche that pair well with the nighttime cocktail menu.
Sustainability is at the heart of Pretty Swell, which has a zero-waste policy in place for most of its menu. For instance, to eliminate citrus waste, the bar uses a non-perishable citrus juice made from the whole fruit to mix its hand-crafted drinks. The plastic-free property also serves lionfish, which is an invasive species in South Florida.
Lest you think it’s all serious business, the vibe is decidedly less serious than Pretty Swell’s mission. You’ll find plush couches and cozy bistro tables amid the courtyard, and an inviting lounge setup within the indoor living room. This may not be Australia, but Pretty Swell captures its relaxed, beachside attitude just right. Pretty Swell opens to the public on May 2.