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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Sandbar: Smiles, full bellies, spirits and laughs

From left: Mike Perrin, Albert Borrero, Matt Gentile joined by Hurricane cheerleaders. 
You may know Sandbar Grill as the “Home of the Fish Taco,” but it's much more than that, other than being a Coconut Grove institution, it’s a place we have all felt at home one time or another. In the midst of a franchisee and chain-based economy, there are some diamonds in our local rough that approach business like locals, because they are locals. It really is a place where everybody knows your name.

Sandbar Sports Grill has been providing Grovites with smiles, full bellies, spirits and laughs since 2000, and they are as grateful as ever for the local patronage. When asked about Sandbar’s longevity, Owner Albert Borrero noted, “I want each guest to feel how I felt the first time I walked into Sandbar 13 years ago as a customer. They knew my name. They knew what I liked to eat and drink.  They knew me. We don’t simply want to know the names of our guests, we want to actually know them.” 

This formula has created a long running relationship with Coconut Grove residents. Owner Matthew Gentile noted, “There is something magical about The Grove and its residents. For us to live and work here is an absolute blessing.  We are incredibly thankful that fellow residents have been supportive for this length of time.” 

Strengthening its local and UM roots, Sandbar recently agreed to host Hurricane Head Football Coach Al Golden's weekly radio show. "The turnout thus far has been outstanding," noted Gentile. "The Miami alumni has continued to support Sandbar and Coconut Grove." The Golden Show, broadcast on WQAM, takes place on Mondays from 7-9pm.

In addition to the Golden Show having been covered by several local news stations, Sandbar's 5 pound Burrito Challenge recently received some additional press on Channel 7's Deco Drive, the Grapevine and The Miami Herald. For years, locals and tourists have been pushing the limits of stomach capacity to avoid having to pay $24.95 for what seems to be 5 pounds of an insurmountable oblong mound of dining pleasure. Should you complete this challenge, your name will be enshrined on a plaque with few others and the meal will be free! "It's delicious, but enormous," noted a failed contestant whose shamed identity he did not wish to share.

So what is next for Sandbar? Their 13th Annual Oktobeer Fest on October 12 of course. Join Albert, Matthew, 250 Grovites and what seems to be about 30 liquor and beer sampling booths for an afternoon of froth and fun. The sampling begins at 4 pm. "This event has become a Grove tradition that our guests and local friends look forward to year round," noted Borerro. This, like so many other Sandbar events (Anniversary Week, Alfest, etc.), has embedded Sandbar into Coconut Grove and has been an important part of its recent history.

After tens of thousands of Fish Tacos and countless Category 5 Hurricanes, one thing has become evident to long time Grove resident and patron Robbie Sousa, “Sandbar is our neighborhood sports grill.  There are many others like it, but this one is ours.” 

If you haven’t had the pleasure, stroll on by and introduce yourself. You won’t regret it.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If "they are grateful as ever for the local patronage" why did they stop honoring the Code 33 program?

I used to love Sandbar. The quality of the food and service has really gone downhill over the past few years, a sad trend in the Grove not unique to Sandbar.

The restaurant and the bathrooms could use a good deep cleaning.

September 18, 2013 8:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sandbar looks the best it has in years. I used to get the local 10% off too, but they have cheap cheap specials every day of the week. Prob why they don't give an extra discount. Stop being a hater. Typical worthless comment taking a good story and inserting misery. Idiot.

September 19, 2013 9:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, the men in your picture actually have names, but the women don't? These cheerleaders are hard workers and deserve recognition!!!

September 19, 2013 3:38 PM  

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