Posted Sept. 22, 2012
By EMMA REYES
MIAMI, Fla. – Surrounded by high-rises that light up the Miami skyline, restaurants filled with people enjoying different cuisines from burgers, table-side prepared guacamole and fried rice and small shops open for business, Brickell is an urban neighborhood on the rise.
Brickell is made up of more than 30,000 full-time residents, according to Gabriel Gonzalez, director of Commercial Real Estate at RESF Commercial.
The pioneers of the area were Mary Brickell and her husband, William, who started the trading post in 1870. Mary Brickell’s vision for the area was for it to become the heart of business in Miami.
Today, the area is known as the Miami financial district. In the past four years, the area has recovered from the 2006-07 market crash.
Gonzalez explained in an e-mail that the recovery was due to the financial markets and international businesses that came to this area. The neighborhood has also become known for its large number of international banks.
“Brickell is the fastest growing neighborhood in Miami and is famous for containing the highest concentration of international banks in the United States,” Gonzalez added.
In the heart of Brickell is the chic center, The Shops at Mary Brickell Village. The center is divided into two plazas that are surrounded by mature oak and mahogany trees decorated with twinkle-lights that illuminate the area like stars in the sky.
Part of what makes up the center is a 32,000 square foot Publix Super Market on the first floor along with restaurants and shops and a 42,500 square foot LA Fitness on the second floor alongside bars.
Mary Brickell Village is also equipped with some popular restaurants, which include Subway, P.F. Chang’s, Burger & Beer Joint, Rosa Mexicano, LA Sweets and Starbucks and lifestyle necessaries as OXXO Cleaners, Uni K Wax and Regions Bank. Blush Boutique Brickell and Peace Love World are some of the clothing stores in the area.
This part of Brickell is known for its restaurants, bars and shops mostly visited by professionals from around the area. During the weekends, it is also known as one of Miami’s hot spots where locals dress in their finest and enjoy their night at one of the many bars and lounges in the area.
According to Gonzalez, Brickell is one of three areas in Miami that have established itself as “true” Miami. It has to do with the area becoming a popular place for international visitors, especially people from Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina, Spain and Mexico.
“[They] move to and live [here] because of the many cultures represented in restaurants and stores in the immediate trade area,” said Gonzalez.
Flavia Merschmann, a full-time student from the University of Tampa, was visiting friends and she expressed the same views to what Gonzalez stated about the area being “true” Miami.
“Absolutely! This is a picture of Miami…. it’s where everybody and everything comes together,” she said.
Merschmann also expressed why she liked going to Brickell and The Shops at Mary Brickell Village so much.
“You can find a bit of everything at Mary Brickell Village, from Chinese food, to Mexican to delicious burgers, great bars, beautiful boutiques and even beauty salons. I guess that and the fact that the population is so diverse makes this place so amazing and unique.”
Local resident Cory H. Clair, a financial representative for John Hancock Financial Network, lives within walking distance from The Shops at Mary Brickell Village. He visits the center once a week for groceries or to enjoy some breakfast or lunch.
“My favorite place to visit in Brickell, by far, is Balans. They have this grilled chicken and fresh mozzarella sandwich that I can eat every day without getting sick of it. Goes best with a little balsamic vinegar poured over the mozz,” Clair said.
The Shops at Mary Brickell Village is also known for local celebrities who drop by and enjoy their evening. Bartender Natalia Cardenas, who works in The Oceanaire Seafood Room, said Pitbull and Shakira are just a few entertainers who have eaten in the luxury restaurant.
The Oceanaire Seafood Room is an elegant venue with blue lighting, modern décor and lobsters and crabs on ice, to just name a few, that adorn the bar area giving the customer a preview of what the restaurant has to offer.
“It has a reputation of being a destination location. People come here for birthdays or anniversaries or special events,” added Cardenas.
The atmosphere in this area of Brickell and in The Oceanaire Seafood Room is recognized as a place where the employees that work in the shops, bars and restaurants will remember their customers.
Cardenas added once the people go into the eatery more than once, the customer becomes a friend and that is her favorite part of working in a place like The Oceanaire Seafood Room.
“The people, the regulars and the community, I guess. They start as regulars and then they become friends.”
Brickell is an area where a tourist can see how the residents of Miami enjoy their weekend nights or Sunday morning brunch. It’s an area where culture, food and style come together.
IF YOU GO
- When visiting The Shops at Mary Brickell Village, parking choices vary, there is a garage located at the corner of SW 10th Street and SW 1st Avenue.
- The rates for parking in this location go by the hour. $2 for up to 60 minutes, $4 for one to two hours, $6 for two to three hours, $9 for three to five hours, $12 for five to six hours, $15 for six to seven hours and $18 for eight to 24 hours.
- There is also valet parking service available on South Miami Avenue and SE Brickell Plaza. For more information on parking call 305-377-2208.
- Amore Gelato is located at 908 S. Miami Ave., Suite 105, Miami, Fla., 33130.
- Balans Restaurant serves modern international food and it’s located at 901 S. Miami Ave., Miami, Fla., 33130. Live music can be enjoyed twice a week and it’s open until 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. For more information call 305-534-9191.
- Blue Martini is located in 900 S. Miami Ave. Suite 250, Miami, Fla. 33130. It’s a lounge that offers numerous specials.
- Burger & Beer Joint is located in 900 S. Miami Ave., Suite 130, Miami, Fla., and the phone is 305-523-2244.
- Cavas Wine Tasting Room Café is located in 900 S. Miami Ave., Suite 180, Miami, Fla., 33130 and the phone is 305-372-8027.
- Fado Irish Pub is located 900 S. Miami Blvd., Miami, Fla., 33130.
- Grimpa Steakhouse Restaurant is located 901 Brickell Plaza, Miami, Fla., 33130 and for reservations call 305-455-4757.
- L.A. Sweets is located at 900 S. Miami Ave., Suite 123, Miami, Fla., 33130.
- Mr. Ganache is located at 900 S. Miami Ave., Suite 176, Miami, Fla., 33130.
- P.F. Chang’s China Bistro is located 901 S. Miami Ave., Suite 104 Miami, Fla., 33131 and phone is (305) 358-0732.
- Rosa Mexicano is located at 900 S. Miami, Ave., Miami, Fla., 33130.
- Salad Creations is located at 900 S. Miami Ave., Miami, Fla., 33130.
- Starbucks is located in 901 S. Miami Ave., Miami, Fla., 33130.
- Subway is located at 901 S. Miami Ave., Miami, Fla., 33130 and the phone is 305-381-6130.
- The Oceanaire Seafood Room is located at 900 S. Miami Ave., Suite 111, Miami, Fla., 33130 and the phone is 305-372-8862.
- Atikshop is located at 900 S. Miami Ave., Suite 175, Miami, Fla., 33130.
- Blush Boutique Brickell is located at 900 S. Miami Ave., Suite 122 Miami, Fla. 33130
- Joanna Paige is located at 900 S. Miami Ave., Suite 182, Miami, Fla., 33130.
- Martha Rey is located at 900 S. Miami Ave., Suite 126A, Miami, Fla., 33130.
- Mogra is located at 900 S. Miami Ave., Miami, Fla., 33130.
- Peace Love World is located at 901 S. Miami Ave., Suite 181 Miami, Fla.
- Studio LX Brickell is located at 900 S. Miami Ave., Miami, Fla. 33131.