Vice City Party

New Uptown hotspot restaurant Miami is retro Scarface meets Go-Go's bliss: Cool like neon, hot like cuties, silly and fun as kids

Restaurant Miami
913 West Lake St., Minneapolis
612.823.1985
www.restaurantmiami.us

Meets Go-Go's Bliss: Cool Like Neon, Hot Like Cuties, Silly and Fun As Kids

A better way to drunk-dial: Fun cocktails and flirting abound at Restaurant Miami
Jayme Halbritter
A better way to drunk-dial: Fun cocktails and flirting abound at Restaurant Miami

For $1,250, you can reserve Restaurant Miami's Scarface Lounge on a Saturday night. If you do, the restaurant will provide you with three bottles of Champagne, four bottles of booze, all the mixers you can drink, and, naturally, because we're drinking here, an additional 12 cans of Old English malt liquor. As you sit in your lounge, gazing out at restaurant patrons seated in vintage 1980s booths and perched on glam Don Johnson-looking white leather chairs, you will listen to the Bangles, Boy George, Blondie, Joe Jackson, and every other band you loved, or hated, or didn't know about at all, from the '80s. Servers will bring you 20 appetizers, four exotic fruit platters, and four whole dessert pies, such as a key lime. Valet parking folks will place the cars of you and your guests. You will have the option of getting a poker table set up for your enjoyment. Large televisions within your lounge will play Scarface, or, if you prefer, episodes of Knight Rider or Miami Vice. But nothing else! Not one other thing! As your hundred-plus drinks take hold, you and your 20 to 30 (suggested) guests will no doubt turn your attention from the delights within the Scarface Lounge to the delights without. Happily, every table hosts a neon-edged telephone, a map, and phone numbers for the other tables, allowing you to drunk-dial the likeliest-looking cuties quicker than you can shotgun a can of OE.

They say youth is wasted on the young—but it isn't at Restaurant Miami. We haven't had a restaurant open like this in the Twin Cities in—well, ever, as far as I know. The place is resolutely concept-driven, and that concept is: people born after Watergate thinking about the movie Scarface, the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, the television shows Miami Vice and Knight Rider, and drinking super-strong cocktails with other people born after Watergate while listening to Spandau Ballet and the Go-Go's.

Now, I would like you readers to neatly cleave into two camps. Does everything I just typed sound like gibberish? Then buy a bottle of Barolo and enjoy your dotage, old man, because this ain't for you. Even if you went, you couldn't hear yourself over the billion-decibel soundtrack of the Cars, Styx, Toto, Flock of Seagulls, and so forth.

For the rest of you—Woo! Woo-hoo, even! The drinks of the summer of '07 are here, and they are sweet, strong, and occasionally profane and lewd. They all take their names from signature lines from the 1983 film Scarface—for instance, "Her womb is so polluted" is a tangy blend of blackberry vodka, Cointreau, Chambord, and lime juice—kind of like a vodka sour made frivolous with some Jolly Ranchers. "Say hello to my little friend" is a genius of a thing, a piña colada turned into a martini via vanilla vodka, Malibu rum, and a graham cracker-frosted rim—if you think piña colada-scented lip gloss is fun, you will love, love, love it. "Eating, drinking, fucking, sucking, snorting" is a sort of pineapple mojito. "Who the fuck you calling a spic, mang? You white piece of bread, get outta the way of the television" is their fresh-lemon-juice lemon drop. "You know what capitalism is? Getting fucked!" is a remarkably easy-drinking, high-octane martini milkshake made with black cherry vodka and Godiva white chocolate liqueur, served with a chocolate-dipped cherry. "You wanna waste my time? Okay. I call my lawyer. He's the best lawyer in Miami. He's such a good lawyer that by tomorrow you gonna be working in Alaska. So dress warm," aside from having the longest drink name in town, is made with Bacardi Razz, and gets funnier to order as the night progresses. Each of these super-strong cocktails costs $8—a bargain considering you are really only going to be able, to paraphrase Dorothy Parker, to have two at the very most. Three and you're under the table. Four and you're under the host.

That host is owner Robert Serr, a 32-year-old with a fierce British accent and a scene-maker's sure command of cool. "I was the manager of the VIP room at Escape," he told me when I spoke to him on the phone for this story. "That was the first really important VIP lounge in Minnesota, but I left it. It wasn't really my cup of tea. Then one day I was driving down Lake Street, and I saw the 'for lease' sign in the window, and I knew what it had to be. It was going to be called 'Afterbar,' and it would be the place to go. But the neighborhood group went berserk—there'd be murders, drug deals, you know. The works. Slamming car doors. So we didn't get the license. We can't really call it 'Afterbar' then, right? We almost called it 'No Bar' because they tried to stop me from getting a liquor license at all." But in the end, the god of partying smiled, and the place got its bar.

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