Martin Cabrera: Defining the Bar Scene in South of Fifth

Miami's Community Newspapers

For many, the South of Fifth neighborhood is overlooked, but for those who live there, it’s a little slice of heaven on Earth. Amidst the tall condo buildings and timeless Art Deco hotels, you’ll find South Pointe Tavern, a locals’ hangout spot that’s the kind of place you visit with friends to wind down or sometimes even to start the night.

South of Fifth resident and South Pointe Tavern owner, Martin Cabrera, says that after two decades of winters in New York City, moving to Miami and opening a bar was a no brainer. As the owner of a summer restaurant in Montauk, Cabrera lived the typical snowbird lifestyle until he eventually decided to call Miami home.

The bar features a cozy rock n’ roll themed lounge area for those who don’t want to sit directly at the bar, but mingling is encouraged as it’s rare to leave a night at South Pointe Tavern without a new friend. “We have a great connection with our neighbors, visitors, industry, and regulars. It’s very special. Almost as good as getting a haircut at an old school barber shop in a small town. There’s so much personality in our customers! We love seeing them come back!” says Cabrera.

Behind the bar, you’ll find over 150 different whiskeys and several dozen agaves. The cocktail menu features Stirred & Boozy (think coffee infused Old Fashioned), Shaken & Refreshing (South of Fifth Smash), or classic highballs like a Paloma with a smoked salt rim. The menu has plenty of bites to back up your boozy choices with easy shareable options like a mezze platter, shrimp cocktail, chicken quesadillas, and several handheld options.

We sat down with Martin to get the scoop on the beloved neighborhood bar:

What brought you to Miami Beach?

After living in New York for over 20 years and having to deal with the cold months after a while you kind of chase an endless summer. I have a summer restaurant in Montauk, so it only made sense to come down to Miami during the winter months to escape the cold. I’ve always loved this city, and after a while, it just felt like home.

Why did you choose South of Fifth to open a bar?

For the past 8 years, I have been lucky enough to be a South of Fifth resident. There’s no place like it —  the location, facilities, neighbors, everything about it it’s so special. We felt like the only thing missing was a good old school Tavern and we were right! South Pointe Tavern is the neighborhood’s favorite local bar. Kind of its own version of Cheers!

What’s your favorite dish/cocktail on the menu?

I really like the charcuterie boards. I always loved the concept of sharing dishes and small plates, very tapas style. I think that is reflected really well on our menu. When it comes to cocktails, our Tavern Old Fashioned is a fun twist on a classic cocktail. We make our own coffee reduction that you wouldn’t normally expect in an Old Fashioned.

Where do you see South Pointe Tavern in 5 years?

I see it right where it belongs, on that corner of South of 5th on Ocean and South Pointe Drive, a block away from the beach, right in the middle of everything. If the opportunity is right, it would be great to see the concept flourish and grow organically in other special neighborhoods. But we’re so happy to call South of Fifth home.

Whether you live in SoFi or are just hanging out for the evening, South Pointe Tavern is an ideal spot for a quick cocktail and bites with a friend, a drink on your own, or a night on the town with your crew. Pop in on weekdays for happy hour from 5 to 7 p.m. featuring half-priced wine, beer, and house cocktails.

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