Miami’s oldest bar coming to Norwegian Escape

By Tom Stieghorst
Norwegian Cruise Line will open a Tobacco Road, based on a legendary Miami bar that is closing after 102 years in business, on its upcoming Norwegian Escape.

The line said the Tobacco Road on the Escape would be opened in partnership with the land-based Tobacco Road and would include items such as the establishment’s neon sign, memorabilia and photographs that “showcase the history of Miami through the lens of events and happenings at the bar over the past century.” Cocktails crafted by the bar’s mixologist, Leo Holtzman, will be on offer.

Norwegian’s Tobacco Road will be placed within the Escape’s 687 Ocean Place. The Escape begins operations from Miami in November 2015.

Simon Murray, Norwegian’s entertainment director, newbuild planning and implementation, said the Tobacco Road on Norwegian Escape won’t serve food or have live entertainment. “We really wanted to preserve the history. It’s such a great part of Miami and of course Escape is part of Miami, too.”

The bar was issued the Miami’s first liquor license in 1912; the building that houses it is even older. Owner Patrick Gleber said there are boards in the foundation with bark on the unfinished sides.

Gleber sold the location three years ago to Swire Properties, which is building a $1 billion mixed-used project in the neighborhood just south of the Miami River called Brickell City Centre. The bar’s final night is Oct. 25.

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