Eat tacos and sip sundowners in Miami’s newest open-air beer garden SPEC
Ever since Love Child Market Place shut its doors and moved its plant-based operations from Miami to Mermaid Beach, its high-profile Gold Coast Highway-fronting site has been sitting, waiting, begging for someone to come along and do something great. Well, friends, our collective hopes have been realised with SPEC – the city’s newest dark and moody watering hole, which opened last week complete with an open-air beer garden and seriously tasty tapas. Here’s everything you need to know about Miami’s striking newcomer …
SPEC is conveniently perched within walking distance of Miami and the bustling Nobby’s strip. The sizeable new space is the handiwork of owners Matt Kennedy, who also happens to be a builder by trade, his sister Mandy Tingay, and his son, who is part of a special forces unit stationed abroad (hence the name). At its entrance is a coffee window, which slings Anchorage Coffee from 6:00 am, but those who venture through the barn doors will be greeted with an impressive marble bar, a dining room dotted with a mix of high and low tables as well as an inviting Chesterfield couch setting. On the far wall, a striking bear mural by local artist Kiel Tillman commands your attention as you make your way to the open-air beer garden out the back. A handful of picnic tables fill the space, creating the ideal backdrop for sneaky sundowners. Festoon lights overhead ensure the fun doesn’t end when the sun sinks.
The opening menu features a succinct selection of tapas-style bites ranging from grilled-corn cobettes slathered with mayo and a dusting of paprika, crispy lotus root chips, pea and fetta arancini, and tempura oysters with seaweed salad and edamame. SPEC’s break-out taco section is filled with a bevy of mouth-watering options, but perhaps none more so than the birria taco – a variation on the dish which sees slow-cooked meats and Mexican cheese sandwiched into a tortilla and fried, served crispy with flavourful dipping sauce and guac on the side. The result is every bit as rich, oozy and delightfully decadent as it sounds. Local brews from Black Hops, Lost Palms, Balter and Stone & Wood fill the taps alongside a seriously stocked bar. The cocktail list is heavy on the tequila but there’s also a selection of vodka-based sips as well as a couple of whisky- and rum-filled concoctions.
SPEC is now open. Sprint over to our Stumble Guide for opening times and booking details.
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Gold Coast dining guide with more than 870 places to eat, drink, shop and play.