Shots! Shots! Shots!
Oscar Zapata, a young, charismatic, and ambitious Colombian who calls Miami home, has had a lot of firsts. With the opening of his Wynwood bar, Shots, along with partners, David Estrada and Jason Machado, he is looking to parlay this first into an expansive business venture.
The concept for Shots came after a trip last August to Medellin, Colombia, where Zapata and Estrada partied at a small, crammed, “anything goes” type bar, Chupitos. Oscar sets the scene where “people cram into this place like a can of sardines. You can’t lift your arm up in the air because you won’t be able to bring it back down that night.” But this bar was no run of the mill drinking parlor. It was an interactive experience. Oscar continues, “specific shots with specific interactions, creates a bunch of chaos.”
Each shot is accompanied by a prop or interaction with the bartender. Realizing the untapped potential of such a concept in the States, the partners were eager to bring the blueprint to Miami, with a twist of their own.
Above: Chupitos in Colombia inspired the creation of Shots Miami
After receiving an overwhelming response from their outdoor parties during Art Walk, they were ready to settle on a permanent location. Though their concept is most appealing to 20 and 30 year olds, Zapata describes that “the best reaction has been from a much older demographic, who have come back and told us ‘thank you, we love it.’ ‘We love the fact that we can be older but still have fun like if we were younger.’ It’s a place where even older people who aren’t afraid to break out of their shell a little bit can totally get into their role. I’ve had people in here wear pimp hats and afros all night long and have a great time doing it.”
After considering spaces in Miami Beach and Brickell, Zapata and his partners closed on their location in Wynwood with Lombardi Properties, seeing the potential of the Arts district.
“At least two months every night we would go to Wood Tavern, we would eat at Joey’s, we would go to Wynwood Kitchen, we would go to the Art Walks, we were here every single day. I would come morning, afternoon, and night. You see the Maseratis driving around. You see the movers and the shakers looking at the area investing their money. You see the growth, the construction, and then you also see the foot traffic. You see people starting to come out here for more than one reason. They’re going out to the galleries. They’re going out to eat. I have a daughter and Play-In will take care of her while I go enjoy the art walk. So you start to see all these things happening around you and it’s like a no brainer.”
The full service liquor bar will serve quality cocktails and shooters while maintaining their claim to fame with their 60+ unique shot experiences. The bartender instructs a customer to say a spell while serving The Harry Potter, a flame shot. Once the spell is complete, the bartender strikes the glass with a hallowed out wand, filled with a flammable and mysterious concoction, creating a ball of fire. The Mind Eraser Shot will require the patron to don a hard hat as they are hit over the head with a toy hammer. Finally, The Facebook Shot, will feature a clever marketing twist, taking a photo of the drink and checking in at the bar on Facebook before throwing one back.
With a 2,000 square foot interior featuring a wrap around bar and dj booth, Shots has plans for additional entertainment with their 5,500 square foot outdoor canopied patio, which will include a container bar, a converted trailer VIP lounge, offering exclusive bottle service, and an event stage for bands and djs.
With Miami as one of the reigning party towns across the globe, Shots will bring a new and creative experience to the Wynwood Arts District. Expect a staple of weekly parties from a Salsa night to Crab Claw Reggae Sunday. “Every night of the week we’re going to have something different. We’ve been tossing around the idea about having a ‘Magic Mike Ladies Night,’ a male revue for the ladies.
Shots is looking forward to a soft opening around December 5th and a grand opening sometime in early January. Their idea is to lay the groundwork in Wynwood and then expand their brand to multiple party destinations.
Zapata explains, “I think we’re about two years early for this area, but thats exactly where we want to be. We’re not just trying to launch a bar or a club, we’re launching a brand. This is Shots Miami and its born in Wynwood.”