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BRICKELL: The New Nightspot

By: Benjamin Candea // Contributing InSight Writer

Issue date: 7/8/08 Section: Insight
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Brickell, called home by numerous University of Miami students, is quickly evolving into yet another alternative for nightlife in Miami.

The latest development in the predominantly residential area is Mary Brickell Village, a structure that looks similar to CocoWalk in Coconut Grove. It houses Blue Martini, P.F. Chang's, Grimpa Steakhouse, Starbucks and various shops. Many past and present residents feel this will be central to Brickell's growth in the future.

"I think this area will probably take form as the new hotspot in Brickell in the future," junior Chris Swift-Perez said. Swift-Perez lived in the One Miami Condo building last year before moving closer to UM for his junior year. He described the Mary Brickell Village nightlife as "South Beach, minus the clubs."

"It's more like, 'Have a few drinks before you hit the clubs,'" he said.

Blue Martini, located on the second floor of Mary Brickell Village, offers everything from happy hour to live bands to a club-like atmosphere after midnight. The bar's transitional ability allows it to see a variety of fun and attractive people.

"Mondays are popular for college, for those people barely 21," said Charlie Teal, a manager at Blue Martini. He explained that, for the most part, the majority of clients were young professionals.

Nick Ascenzo, another manager, said that during the hours of midnight to 4 a.m., the bar tends to see its largest number of college students. "We get a good crowd then," he said.

Another popular bar, Segafredo, which opened in January, also sees a large amount of young professionals. "Lots of office people come after five to have a drink," said Emiliano Herrero, a bartender at Segafredo. Herrero said that clients tend to be in their early 20s to early 30s.

The influx of young professionals is a result of Brickell's location in Miami's financial district. Along with being home to various restaurants, bars, apartments and condominiums, Brickell is the headquarters for businesses such as Citibank, Bank of America, State Trust and HSBC. The large banks and other businesses primarily lead to the demographic found in Brickell's nightlife.

"It's not the same crowd," Brittany Brand, a UM graduate student, said, comparing the Brickell crowd to that found in Coconut Grove or South Beach. Brand currently lives in a condominium in Brickell after living in University Village last year. She left UV because of various problems the complex was having and moved to Brickell for its location between South Beach and Coconut Grove.

"I'm not far from either place," she said. Brand also appreciates the upscale and laid-back bars. "It's very nice to go out to eat or kind of hang out for the night."

The lounges and laid-back atmosphere help differentiate Brickell from the clubs in South Beach and the bars in Coconut Grove. But why do students still head to South Beach or Coconut Grove instead of Brickell?

"The crowd is more my age and my friends go there," sophomore Sophie Gonzalez said. Meanwhile, "Brickell is more a crowd of young professionals."

Besides the popular Blue Martini and Segafredo, numerous other bars and lounges are opening in the area. Red Bar Gallery, Side Bar, Transit Lounge, Finnegan's on the River, Big Fish and Tobacco Road are all other viable options for an evening in Brickell.

Be sure to check out the burgeoning nightspot as a classy and laid-back alternative to your typical night on the town.

Benjamin Candea may be contacted at b.candea@umiami.edu.
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