At Miami’s Golden Bar boutique, there’s a little bit of something for everyone. On one side of this charming Coconut Grove shop, you’ll find adorable home goods and knickknacks that can suit a gift list for any occasion. On the other side, a pocket of cute and casual women’s clothing and accessories — a treat, perhaps, for the gift-giver herself.
“I love little boutiques full of local handmade jewelry and independent labels, not chains where you find yourself wearing the same dress at a party as someone else,” said Leslie Ames, Golden Bar’s owner, who handpicks every item she sells as if she were shopping for herself.
Ames and her husband, Sebastian Fernandez, have played a formidable role in the latest resurgence of the Grove. This year they opened 33 Kitchen, a quaint Peruvian gem in the former space of Bombay Darbar. And before that came Golden Bar, with an aesthetic and inventory that perfectly captures the essence of the Grove: eclectic, inviting and lush with eccentricities.
“The reason I opened my first U.S. boutique in Coconut Grove is because we live here, my kids go to school here, and everything is in walking distance,” Ames said. “I’d never open a store in a shopping center or a mall. I’d rather enjoy having a coffee outdoors and walking to find little treasures.”
Ames has mastered the art of reflecting the soul of the neighborhood she is in. She opened a second Golden Bar on Washington Avenue, giving a much-needed breath of indie and local to the tourist-heavy heart of South Beach. And recently she opened her third Golden Bar, in Wynwood. “The spirit of Wynwood has so much to do with the independent style of Golden Bar,” she said.
At each location, you’ll find a mélange of swoon-worthy goods, all ready to be wrapped, tied and handed off to an eager receiver. For the friend who enjoys one-off apothecary, there are perfumes, lotions and soaps by brands like TokyoMilk, Library of Flowers and Lollia. For the refined homemaker, there are decorative candles and glassware, frames with tongue-in-cheek sayings, and coffee-table books on a number of subjects, from fashion to Wes Anderson.
For those who delight over a cute tassel bracelet or pom-trimmed raffia tote, accessories are teeming. And for you? The rows of perfectly organized dresses, tops and skirts can take you from day to night with just a simple change of shoes.
Golden Bar, 3094 Fuller Avenue, Coconut Grove; 1566 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach; and 2085 Northwest Second Avenue, Miami; www.golden.bar.