The story of Bar Nancy is not a complicated one, but one that took a little while to develop into something awesome. And that something awesome, is this beautifully designed bar in Little Havana. While other bars and restaurants thrive on Cuban culture in this area, Bar Nancy thrives on the history of a brigantine ship that transported war supplies during the American Revolutionary War. But before that, let’s talk about this fantastic bar team.
The bar team is made up of Ben Koufopoulos, Katie Rajsich, Derek Stilmann, Anthony Acuna, Natalie Acuna, Tom Koufopoulos, Tommi Koufopoulos, Sasha Torres, Jamal Giles, Lizz Dominguez, Raymond Levy, Caco Alvarez and David Perez, all who have come together for one common purpose, to build one of Miami’s best bars. These industry professionals have worked together in different capacities and now decided to open a bar.
As Derek tells it, Ben started working at the Langford along with Derek and Anthony. In October, Ben starts looking for places to open a bar and mentions it to Anthony and Derek. One thing led to another, and Ben’s realtor led them to the current space where Bar Nancy occupies.
Bar Nancy is a “narrative-driven” bar, everything has a missing piece and everything has a place, much like a puzzle. This comes from the history of “Nancy”. She was a ship built in the 1700’s, a brigantine ship, which supplied arms to the Americans during the Revolutionary War. She was also the first ship to raise the American flag in a foreign port in the Caribbean. The bar is meant to be a colonial new American bar. Cocktails are influenced by the ocean, as well as hispanic, English, Caribbean and African influences.
Derek shares his take on building an American bar in Little Havana:
“We built this bar off rebellion, that we could do it better, we worked for others all of our lives. Let’s build a bar that’s better, from the cocktails to the way we treat our employees.”
He also mentions that he wants this to be the neighborhood go-to bar and become part of the community.
The beauty lies behind the details. The cocktails themselves are created by the staff and everything inside, from the bar to the sign outside is built by Ben and his father. The music is also curated so no guests hears the same song on any given night. Food will also be served including a spectacular bison sloppy joe and a delectable po boy, a full menu will be released soon. All the paintings reflect colonial times and give a sense of history to the new bar.
We love the cocktail menu, which pays homage to Nancy. It’s a third person narrative of a captain speaking of a ship, almost like a captain’s log. The menu starts at the prologue where more colonial American drinks are served. The interlude is Nancy in the Caribbean, St. Thomas specifically. Here you will see more Caribbean cocktails. The Epilogue starts in 1776, Nancy runs into a blockade, she is run aground, she is lined with gun powder, flag pulled off, and she is blown up, these cocktail are more aggressive.
Here are our favorites:
From Prologue section:
Spirited Miami’s take (SM): A beautiful silky cocktail with vanilla and cinnamon notes with a touch of citrus. I love this one to end the evening. And it’s ready to drink out of the bottle!
SM’s take: We love how all the flavors unite in this cocktail. The peat from the Laphroaig, the coffee from the Tia Maria, the toast from the Guinness and the nuttiness from the bitters ties it together. Not for the faint of heart, maybe that’s why it’s garnished with a pirate flag!
From Interlude section:
SM’s take: Here is a tiki inspired cocktail taken to the next level. We are no stranger to Cruzan’s Blackstrap which we love, it shines brightly and works in tandem with Hamilton Jamaican Black. The chamomile Campari is the icing on the cake along with the spiced pineapple. Refreshing, delicious and packs a punch.
Absolut Elyx, Strawberry Thai Chili, Ginger Beer, Powdered Chocolate
SM’s take: Elyx comes alive in this reinvented Mule. The strawberry thai chili and ginger make for beautiful spicy notes that are elevated with the unexpected chocolate powder. Surprisingly refreshing and very light on the chocolate. This is a go-to for us.
Ford’s Gin, Honeydew, Tarragon, Rosemary, Sparkling Water
SM’s take: We love this refreshing cocktail, this one will be our favorite summer cocktail. Honeydew and herbs make for a refreshing aromatic cocktail.
From Epilogue section:
Smile You Son of a Bitch
Casa Noble Crystal Tequila, Plum Reduction, Passionfruit, Lime, JAWS!
SM’s take: This will be another summer favorite! Made with Casa Noble tequila which pairs perfect with the passionfruit. And a JAWS! garnish, we’re all in!
2007 SW 8th Street
Miami, FL 33135
Open everyday 5pm-2am