Menin Hospitality Principal Keith Menin Talks Bodega’s Expansion Plans

Bodega Taqueria - Interior - Photo Credit - Menin HospitalityPhoto Credit: Menin Hospitality

If you’re from Miami, you know that Bodega Taqueria y Tequila is a location synonymous with Miami nightlife—a killer late-night scene, lively music, enticing food and beverage offerings and a hip, exclusive vibe. Due to its overwhelming popularity, the brand has recently announced rapid expansion plans, with the debut of Bodega Taqueria, the first spin-off concept of its original location, plus another Bodega Taqueria y Tequila location in Fort Lauderdale. There are two spinoff locations already confirmed—one in North Beach and one in Downtown Miami to be located at the Natiivo building—as well as 10 more openings lined up within the next 24 months.

In light of the exciting news, we sat down with Menin Hospitality Principal Keith Menin to discuss more on what’s to come from the beloved brand.

HL: Tell us about Bodega’s expansion plans for this year. 

KM: Since we opened our first flagship location in South Beach in 2015, Bodega Taqueria y Tequila quickly became the go-to spot for authentic Mexican street food that also doubled as a secret late-night speakeasy. We are absolutely thrilled to next introduce our full-concept Bodega venue in Fort Lauderdale, which will open November 12, 2020. Over the next 18-24 months, our plan is to expand Bodega Taqueria y Tequila into several other primary markets throughout Florida.

Simultaneously, we are also debuting Bodega Taqueria, our new spinoff concept, which will mirror the award-winning fast-casual Mexican food portion that makes up Bodega Taqueria y Tequila and serve as a food-only destination. Our goal is to open 8-10 new Bodega Taqueria locations over the next 18-24 months. 

Bodega Taqueria y Tequila Taco Tray - 1Photo Credit: Menin Hospitality

HL: What elements made Fort Lauderdale your next destination to open up? 

KM: We’ve always loved Fort Lauderdale as a city. When we saw that they were developing and re-envisioning the riverfront, the new towers, and the Wharf, we found an iconic historic corner that just felt like Bodega—and we felt it was also an easy market because of the people and the fact that it’s so close to home.

HL: Will it be an identical concept to the original or will each one have its own unique flair?

KM: When you enter Bodega—say someone blindfolds you upon arrival and walks you directly inside—when you open your eyes, you will instinctively feel the same energy and atmosphere that has made the Bodega brand so unique. With a focus on adapting to the Fort Lauderdale environment, the new location’s speakeasy has been designed with a specially-customized NanaWall, so that on Saturdays and Sundays guests can enjoy inside and outside dining, high-energy day festivities, and community-driven, game-day watch parties and events. The activation of more day events and programming is a main component to our Fort Lauderdale location, which differs from that of South Beach, as our SB Bodega back speakeasy is only open at night. The Taqueria portion will similarly reflect the same feel as South Beach, on the iconic corner.

HL: Will you be bringing about any new updates/additions to Bodega?

KM: Bodega Fort Lauderdale will remain true to the Bodega brand and incorporate all elements that make up the overarching Bodega brand DNA. Ultimately, we don’t try to change much, but rather adapt, and we do so by incorporating new unique elements and experiences that specifically cater to the different markets we evolve into. Bodega has become one of our most exciting and high-energy concepts. We really don’t want to deviate too much with the opening of future locations. 

*Hint hint* We did change one element that guests are always drawn to. We’ve replaced the pool table with something entirely new….

BodegaPhoto Credit: Menin Hospitality

HL: Do you plan to expand Bodega beyond South Florida in the future?

KM: Yes! We are looking to expand into other markets in Florida and then eventually make our way along the East Coast and beyond. 

HL: What is your go-to meal and cocktail at Bodega?  

KM: My go-to meal is definitely Classic Pollo Taco, Barbacoa Taco, guacamole, Skinny Margarita or Modelo.