Who says that Kendall is a just a vast wasteland of strip malls, condos and Costcos?
Just because Kendall is a little urban sprawl-y doesn’t mean its residents don’t party. Baru Latin Bar, Kendall’s newest nightlife acquisition, is located at the Palms at Town & Country Mall, which is exactly where you expect a nightclub in Kendall to be. Helmed by Hector Antunez, the Kendall location is across from Blue Martini Kendall, another one of Kendall’s go-to (read: only) party spots.
Baru has become popular by moving into neighborhoods where South American and Caribbean expats live and work and capturing the nostalgia of the clubs that many remember from their youths, with maybe some Carlos Vives blasting, sweet drinks flowing and a come as you are vibe.
Antunez knows Kendall is the right spot for this concept; it was his home when his family moved to Miami from Venezuela years ago. “It’s really special for me because I used to live in Kendall, so I feel like I am giving back to the place I stayed when I got here.” Residents would likely agree, since World of Beer and Blue Martini are on the short list of places to hang out in Kendall. “It’s a great demographic, it’s far enough from Brickell and South Beach to deserve its own market,” he explains.
The 5,500-square-foot space will be the third Baru outpost, a Midtown location was open briefly while the Brickell space was being remodeled. Antunez has plans for expansion in other key markets like Orlando and Houston, perhaps Latin America. The Kendall location is going to be the prototype for possible franchises.
The design includes three massive bars, two outdoor terraces with a lake-side view, a cocktail “ventanita” and plenty of space to cumbia or salsa (or pretend like you can dance). The menu is a pan Latin sampling, with Mexican and Colombian dishes. At the bar, the menu was created by the Cocktail Collective, a local team of mixologists behind Midtown bar The Bitter Truth. Try The Best Mojito in Miami, and let us know if it’s aptly named. Most drinks are under $12, so we are talking Kendall prices. That’s what Baru is all about, Antunez explains. “Friendly, low key, no pretension.”
The most important thing about a neighborhood bar is knowing who your neighbors are. Antunez knows all about Kendall.
Baru Latin Bar, 8405 Mills Dr #309. Miami; 305-477-6022 or barulatinbar.com/baru-kendall/