’90s Speakeasy Pop-Up Bar Arrives in Miami’s Wynwood

Long before the dawn of streaming services and DVDs, Friday nights were for video store runs to choose your favorite films on cassettes. Now, Bucket Listers and SWARM, the team behind Wynwood Marketplace in Miami, are recreating this nostalgic experience with a ’90s themed speakeasy. From March 8 to April 28, Miami residents can visit Wynwood Marketplace for a trip down memory lane into the “simpler times” of the 1990s. The pop-up, titled Back 2 The Video Store: A ’90s Speakeasy Bar, is filled to the brim with ‘90s nostalgia featuring neon lights, lava lamps, classic arcade games, and shelves packed with VHS tapes representing the classic TV shows and films from the decade. “Our mission was to craft a nostalgic space for visitors to re-experience ’90s magic,” enthuses Derek Berry, head of experiences at Bucket Listers. “From the moment you enter, you’ll plunge into a realm of nostalgia that includes themed cocktails, DJs spinning ’90s hits, and a comfy ambiance that will make you feel you’ve travelled back in time.”

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The pop-up is as immersive as you can get with video store décor, and a cocktail menu that embraces the speakeasy theme. Upon arrival, patrons are given a traditional membership card, which doubles as a drink ticket. As you go through the movies available “for rent” on the shelves, they are in fact your cocktail choices, inspired by ’90s and 2000s cinema hits. Cocktails on the menu range from the “Men in Black,” made with Ube, spiced rum, cachaça, lime juice, and pineapple juice, to the “Mean Girls” composed of vodka, St. Germain, lemon juice, watermelon syrup, and finished with cotton candy. You will see other classic movie-inspired cocktails such as “Toy Story,” “Karate Kid,” “Indiana Jones,” “Jaws,” “Happy Gilmore,” and “Halo.” Each VHS tape includes a recipe for the corresponding cocktail at the back, instead of a movie summary. When a drink is selected, it is handed over to a “Videotender” to prepare.

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The speakeasy experience has three levels. General admission for instance gets customers one drinks voucher that covers any cocktail or mocktail. Prices begin at $22 for 90 minutes at the pop-up. If you’re up for settling the perennial debate between ’90s and ’00s movie supremacy in style, the Blockbuster-themed brunch is for you. Tickets kick-off at $45 per person, which gets you a 90-minute reservation, a main course, and bottomless mimosas. Main courses include breakfast quesadillas, tostadas, steak and eggs, huevos rancheros, burritos, and chilaquiles. The “Video Killed the Radio Star” DJ Party offers an evening of groovy ’90s dance tunes. Tickets start from $28 per person, including a welcoming cocktail and four hours dedicated to dancing. “We’ve really considered every detail of this throwback experience, from the ambiance to the menu” says Berry. “The aim is to introduce younger generations to the spirit of the ’90s, while evoking a sense of nostalgia.” Back 2 The Video Store: A ’90s Speakeasy Bar will be open from March 8 through to April 28 at 2250 NW Second Ave., Miami. Tickets are available for purchase at