Our city is going through several simultaneous growth spurts happening all across Miami. As a young town, Miami is currently entering puberty and, slowly but surely, finding its identity along the way. While it may be seen as a beach and shopping hotspot (which will always be the case), this city is taking advantage of its rich culture and endless fountains of creativity pouring out into the streets of the mainland. In areas otherwise untouched, neighborhoods lost in time, and communities left forgotten, Miami is gaining its confidence and building some incredible opportunities for the future. We’ve discussed Wynwood’s growth and the revitalization of classic landmarks on Biscayne Blvd, but it’s time to get to know other booming neighborhoods. Breaking down these areas of golden growth, we’ve listed some interesting new developments that come with community rather than a price tag.
A seemingly overlooked area curtained behind a cultural nickname and its strength in distribution is Allapattah. Given the moniker of “Little Santo Domingo,” the neighborhood is still a strong key-holder in bringing cultural goods to the city. Without meaning to, Allapattah has become the market capital of Miami with wholesale outlets at the textile market, the Produce Market, which is the city’s largest open-air food distribution center, and now the addition of the Allapattah Market. Here’s what you need to know: the new marketplace was founded by Wood Tavern’s Cesar Morales, who branched away from Wynwood to spread community-friendly culture to other areas of the city. It’s a 10,000 square-foot space that has become the home of hundreds of craftsmen/women, artists, and makers every Saturday. There’s a 15,000 square-foot bar and restaurant component on the way to round out the beach-like vibe. Stop by the new Allapattah Art Center and support the spreading of creativity throughout every community. Find out more about the market here: allapattahmarket.com.
The Arts + Entertainment District
Located between downtown Miami and Wynwood is The Arts + Entertainment District, bordered by some of the city’s largest cultural institutions like The PAMM, The Arsht, and the YoungArts campus. This growing outpost for live music, outdoor movie nights, and the most legit flea market Miami has ever seen is a true local favorite. The area’s events, which help support Miami’s budding entrepreneurial and micro-entrepreneurial community, keep A+E fans and passersby coming back for more. Here’s what’s new: Local coffee and chilled out vibes courtesy of Vice City Bean at their newly opened location at the corner of NE 17th Street and NE Miami Court. Just across the street, Iron Addicts Gym Miami opened its doors last month and is bringing true grit training to an already die-hard fan base. This month, the area will also host its latest installation of the Miami Flea, its turnkey event that draws locals by the thousands to relish in the bustling community. To learn more, visit www.aedistrictmiami.com.
Leah Arts District
When you think of a burgeoning arts district, Hialeah may be one of the last places that comes to mind. But that’s the point. Over the past two years, our northern cousin has dedicated itself to becoming the new home for displaced artists around the city. It just takes one fearless councilman (Paul Hernandez), one loyal PR guru (JennyLee Molina), and thousands of passionate locals ready to make Hialeah a supportive environment for the talented creatives that call the city home. The Leah Arts District was founded two years ago in an effort to both revitalize a forgotten commercial neighborhood and provide comfortable living for creatives during the current housing boom. The Hialeah Artist Live/Work Overlay District has opened its doors to provide a live/work space that now boasts 25 new murals by some of the city’s best local artists. Here’s what’s coming soon: The 2nd-Annual #HIALEAHNOW Block Party will be celebrating the district’s first birthday on June 11 complete with food trucks, live music, and of course, art. Find out more at: leahartsdistrict.org.
Although the borders of Little Haiti, Lemon City, and Little River are relatively blurred, the entire area is currently undergoing a revitalization that both supports the surrounding community and elevates it. There’s an abundance of treasures in Little River that are only made more magical because they’re in places that you’d otherwise not expect to find them. From centuries-old parks, to tropical cabanas, gas station-turned sandwich shops, and some of the city’s best music, Little River has been waiting for the limelight, and it’s well deserved. Here’s what’s new: Following the success of last month’s The Ultimate Brunch, the minds behind the neighborhood’s development are gearing up to bring some of the best food to the area, starting with Sherwoods Bistro, the new concept spearheaded by South Florida’s greatest vintage purveyors, Ace Props. The entrepreneurial and creative start-up community has found a home at MADE at The Citadel, the city’s most innovative co-working space that houses leading cultural influencers like III Points, Villain Theater, and Prism Music Group (yours truly). And slated to open sometime late next year is Miami’s first food hall: The Citadel, which will house multiple culinary concepts, retail outlets, creative workspaces, and a rooftop bar all out of a historical location. Get to know it better here: thecitadelmiami.com.
Finally, to round out this geographical lesson, we’re winding down to an area that is at the heart of our city’s cultural identity (literally): Little Havana. Of course, nearly every Miamian knows that Calle Ocho is a hub for Latin expression in its own right, but this neighborhood and its thirst for creativity branches far beyond Eighth Street. With galleries, recording studios, design outlets, hidden courtyards, and some of the most delicious non-Cuban food in the city, Little Havana is more than just a microcosm of one country, it is a gathering of traditions from all around the world. On the outskirts of the neighborhood, many developers are looking to bring back the era of “Old Miami,” making tropical rustic cool again. Here’s what’s new: A
vra Jain, the woman behind the restoration of many areas in Biscayne Blvd, has brought back the historic River Inn Miami to its former glory, keeping in with the beauty of this 1900s landmark. A tropical oasis and an escape from modern architecture, the hotel will also be the home of Casa Florida, a top-notch dining experience that serves nostalgia with every bite, and a container bar for added freshness. Here’s more.