Employees Only restaurant comes to South Beach

At Employees Only, the new restaurant in South Beach, things aren’t what they seem to be. The place is a throwback to a 1920s speakeasy, but you’d never know it just by looking at it.

From the moment you see it — you’ll know Employees Only isn’t like most SoFlo restaurants.

For one thing, you can get your fortune told before you sit down at your table.

Billy Gilroy, owner: “From the outside, it’s a front. A front meaning for instance, we have a fortune teller outside. It says ‘psychic.’ You would not know from the outside that a restaurant exists. There’s no sign saying ‘restaurant’ nothing like that.”

The hidden joint honors the speakeasies of the Prohibition era. Back then, you needed “a front” to fool the cops.

Billy Gilroy: “Because it was against the law at that time to drink.”

The front room may be a decoy, but the psychic takes her job seriously.

Psychic: “You’re very creative, and you like to take chances in life.”

After your cards have been read, the real journey begins.

Billy Gilroy: “But then you go through curtains that say ‘Employees Only’ as if it’s a service entrance.”

Once you’re inside, you can check out what the place has to offer.

Trust me — you’re in no hurry.

Billy Gilroy: “We have food. We serve ’til 4 in the morning, drinks ’til 4 in the morning. We’re known for our cocktails.”

You can sip on anything from a tequila-based drink to the bar’s take on an old-fashioned.

Try something simple like steak tartare or tear into a ribeye, a beet salad or some bone-marrow poppers — it’s all up to you.

Lauren Melamed, customer: “It is mind blowing. I mean, the whole spread, the cocktails, I’m just taken aback. It’s so good and I’m so happy to have something like this in Miami.”

Employees Only is housed in one of the four art deco buildings that make up the Washington Park Hotel.

Ken Tutt, director of sales and marketing at Washington Park Hotel: “The buildings were built back in 1943. The hotel was completely renovated and reopened in March of last year.”

The hotel’s got plenty of things for you to do. Play a little ping pong, try your skill at video games, cool out on a hammock. But sooner or later, you’ll find yourself at Employees Only.

Ken Tutt: “Employees Only is bringing a different type of speakeasy modern American flair that guests can come and experience, not only dining, but a great place for cocktails and even get your fortune read.”


Employees Only
1030 Washington Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139
(786) 264-3945

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