The last thing I expected to encounter after seeing a movie in Little Havana’s Tower Theater was a cozy wine bar with a speakeasy vibe. On Calle Ocho, no less! But so it happened that a craving for a glass of vino led my friends and I to research bars in Little Havana. Of course, there’s the ol’ Ball and Chain, but if we’re being honest — and heck yeah, I am! — I had a pre-movie mojito there and the service was so appalling that I would’ve learned how to homebrew before heading back for an after-movie cocktail.
And so, with a little help from Yelp, we found LeKoKe. Located just two and a half blocks from the theater, the location was super convenient, but as we pulled up in front of the door, I had a slight sinking feeling. From the outside, it looked a bit flavorless. Thank GAWD that exterior belies the inside.
Upon entering, it felt like I was transported into a warm and quirky speakeasy from an era long since past. The walls are cluttered with antique cameras, and sparkling chandeliers hang from the ceiling. Dark, wood-paneled walls were lined top to bottom with bottles of wine from new and old world vintners. Then there was the music. A little Ella Fitzgerald crooned through the speakers, setting an already perfect vibe.
We were shown to a table, brought a plate of olives and asked to choose a bottle of wine. Though you can also get glasses, it’s extremely affordable to order one of the bottles on the wall (we found a tasty pinot noir for just $20) and split it among your group. Wine prices range from the remarkably cheap to pricey, so it’s up to your party to decide if you want to low or highball it for the night.
The food menu offers small bites like boquerones, empanadas, a cheese plate, and charcuterie plate. Still, there are hot bites like empanadas, as well as a smattering of pizzas and sandwiches to choose from. It might not make a great dinner spot, but it’s absolutely perfect for a post- or pre-meal drink and a snack.
Reservation are not required, but we recommend them — the space fills up quickly.