In 2012, Danny Valdéz left his home in New Orleans, Louisiana ultimately finding love for his new neighborhood in Miami, Florida. Yet, the Crescent City remained deeply embedded in his soul. Now, Valdéz has reconciled his geographic bipolarity, teaming up with Milan Mijatovic (Rockwell Night Club) to open Sin & Sugar (1625 Michigan Avenue), a new Miami Beach jazz club and cocktail den with a NOLA accent.
Inspired by New Orleans’ legendary jazz era, red light district Storyville, the 55 seat (150 person capacity) venue features cigars, traditional NOLA food, and live music.
“I come from a long line of musicians; I’m a NOLA native; and I’m also a tobacconist and barman,” Valdéz explained. “It was only a matter of time that all of these things merged.”
The drink list features a few originals mixed with some familiar NOLA staples. “There’s a lot of folks who have tasted some of our iconic drinks, but not many who have had well made New Orleans classics, so focusing on the Sazerac, and Vieux Carre was important,” Valdéz mused. “The Pimm’s cup, which has become a NOLA mainstay, I thought should be featured as well. The United Fruit Company’s influence during that era is the reason I decided to add a banana component.”
Fittingly, about 70% of the the music at Sin & Sugar falls into the jazz category. However, the NOLA influences on stage extend beyond genre. The stage is dominated by a massive mural of Louis Armstrong as Papa Legba (the voodoo loa with a penchant for Cigars & Rum).
The kitchen also takes their cues from the Big Easy (which actually is neither big nor easy). Muffulettas, Zapp’s chips, jambalaya, crawfish cheesecake, and fried catfish populate the menu. Honoring a Louisiana tradition, red beans and rice will be served on Mondays.
All the NOLA sweets are represented as well. After (or instead of) dinner, guests can feast upon beignets, bananas foster, or pecan pie a la mode.
In case all of this love for The City That Care Forgot has you questioning Valdéz’s Miami bonafides, fear not. The publican’s record in the 305 borders on legend. He helped John Lermayer open the Regent Cocktail Club and Rec Room. Then, he opened Ball & Chain in Little Havana with Julio Cabrera before opening several more restaurants and bars with Michelle Bernstein.