Jorge Moreno stole the microphone without warning midway through his grand re-opening of Moreno’s Cuba, a Havana-inspired speakeasy restaurant and bar at Miami Beach’s Dorchester Hotel. As a recent transplant to Miami with little context, this came across as an arrogant move. Don’t you think?
His voice and moves were more talented than expected. That’s why I quickly googled Jorge Moreno and realized I should have known better. He’s a Latin Grammy Award-Winning Cuban American singer turned restaurateur. The puzzle began to make sense, and I enjoyed the impromptu show with an eclectic group of people with enough leisure time to drink and smoke Cuban’s finest on a Wednesday night.
Similar to Colombian singer Carlos Vives’s restaurant and bar Gaira Cafe modeled after his country’s Vallenato music culture, Jorge Moreno created Moreno’s Cuba inspired by the Havana speakeasy that his grand uncle, Jorge Sanchez Villar owned during the Cuban Revolution right under the leadership’s noses at “Hotel Nacional”, Havana’s most iconic hotel.
It’s the ideal time for Moreno’s Cuba Americans, including myself, have experienced Cuba over the past few years since travel restrictions have been partially lifted. This newfound perspective on Cuban culture after personally taking in the atmosphere at the ageing Hotel Nacional helped to better understand the brilliance of Jorge Moreno taking the best aspects of vintage Cuba and vintage Miami to adopt into Moreno’s Cuba.
The restaurant is a marvel and matches the Miami beach vibe of its neighboring hotels and restaurants. The patio is built around a massive canopy tree. This sets a tropical vibe outside to enjoy Cuban inspired cocktails.
Likewise, the throwback bar that looks like a Cuban grandmother’s living room pays homage Jorge Moreno’s heritage from Cuba while growing up in Miami.
A modern twist on Cuban food staples, Cuban style cigars, Moreno Cuba’s mojito’s, and the restaurant’s special atmosphere make this an interesting choice to start a night out in Miami.
Where: Moreno’s Cuba; 1850 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, 33139
Hours: 7:30am – 11pm
Phone: (305) 497-2341