Yes, Broken Shaker Was Sold. So What Does That Mean for Its Future? (2024)

This past June, New Times shared the news that the beloved watering hole Broken Shaker at the Freehand Miami, as well as its sister restaurant 27 Restaurant & Bar, had been sold to a hotel brand based in Europe.

The news shook our readers to their core, especially those who have long been frequenting the tropical hangout since 2012. Essentially, this past May, Bar Lab Hospitality, which has owned and operated Broken Shaker and 27 Restaurant & Bar since 2012, completed the sale of the bar and restaurant to Generator Hostels. Generator is a European boutique hotel and hostel brand that acquired Freehand Hotels in Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York.

Bar Lab Hospitality, which consists of Gabriel Orta and Elad Zvi, took to Instagram on Tuesday, June 11, to share the bittersweet news. "It's the end of an era!" begins the caption. The statement goes on, and so did the comments from fans expressing their heartbreak and concern.In an Instagram post shared with New Times followers on June 12, hundreds of comments by our followers were just as puzzled. "Is Broken Shaker closing for good? Or does it just have new ownership?"

Thankfully for fans wondering, New Times spoke directly with the chief executive officer of Generator and Freehand Hotels,Alastair Thomann, andMatt Kliegman of Authentic Hospitality, to break down exactly what the future holds for Broken Shaker and 27 Restaurant & Bar.

A Refresh in Upholstery While Maintaining Its Spirit

"We love Miami, and the name is staying!" saysThomann with a laugh. "I think over time, the furniture gets a little tired and the upholstery gets a little tired, so we plan to keep the vibe, keep the spirit, keep the name, and keep the great drinks while bringing in some experienced friends with ours, some James Beard-nominated guys, just to assist with the food who have worked with us before. It should feel just as great as you remember it."

Their confidence that the bar will remain the same is actually because the acquisition isn't new. The Generator brand acquired the Broken Shaker brand, which is part of Freehand Hotels, back in 2019. Therefore, the new guys have been in town working the spot since the months leading up to the COVID pandemic — and both Thomann and Kliegman have been longtime guests (and fans) of the Shaker.

"We acquired the Broken Shaker brand back in 2019, but I've been a guest of Broken Shaker since the early days of 2012," explainsKliegman."I was a fan for the first seven years, and then I was lucky that the private equity house has acquired the Broken Shaker brand."

"We know the Broken Shaker is a very special place," adds Kliegman. "It's mainly driven by locals, and it's got a very loyal following through thick and thin, whether that's the pandemic, or even in the summer during the slow seasons. It's always worked. Therefore, when we selected the Broken Shaker, it was very important that it was a place that does it for the locals and gets the community. This is why we have been super careful that we don't damage anything about this very exciting and local brand. Although there will be refresh, the feel and the spirit of the whole place will be the same."

They affirm there won't be any major noticeable changes to the beloved bar and restaurant. However, there will be subtle upgrades that longtime fans will certainly be able to point out.

click to enlarge

Get your drink on at the Broken Shaker.

Photo by Karli Evans

So What Will Change at the Broken Shaker?

While the atmosphere, craft co*cktails, and overall spirit will remain the same, the management and food menu will change in 2024. The Generator brand, which acquired the Freehand and Broken Shaker brands, has been overseeing the bar for the past five years. Now, new management is coming in, including manager Ernesto Coronado, who moved back in 2019 during the initial acquisition. Generator acquired Freehand Hotels for $400 million.

"We acquired all of this back in 2019 — the Freehand brand and the Broken Shaker brand," explains Kliegman. "We went in 2019, took over the two brands, both magical brands, and we just continued to operate as it was. Now, five years later, we're bringing someone new to manage the properties to take them to the next level. It's really been that simple. The brand has always been there and has not changed."

"We've relocated one of our top team members to manage the Broken Shaker," says Thomann. "We're just learning and observing at the moment. I would anticipate that the enhancements will be complete by this fall."

Upgrades include a new food menu and possible additions to the co*cktail menu— although even the Generator team acknowledges the drinks are already great.

"The Broken Shaker has such terrific co*cktails, and it's remarkable that they're still super strong and just as delicious 12 years later. But we are going to spend some time with the food menu and even start to think of standardization across the properties," saysThomann. "We'll keep the hits and maybe swap out things that are less popular. We may also offer slightly healthier options to replace some of the heavier stuff."

Despite the menu changes and new management, the team on the ground remains the same, including the staff and mixologists who have been with the Shaker since 2012. "It's the same team in there," reinforcesKliegman. "All the same guys, the same mixologists. It's all the same, and there is no change. It's not like old team members have left and new ones have come in. It is all the same."

And don't worry— Thomann and Kliegman assure New Times the popular "Shaker Burger," a double patty burger with bacon, cheddar, onions, pickles, and special Shaker sauce, is not to ever be messed with. "The 'Shaker Burger' is off limits, just so we can be clear about that,'" chips in Kliegman with a laugh.

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Yes, Broken Shaker Was Sold. So What Does That Mean for Its Future? (2024)
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