Q&A: Miami’s Newest Open-Air Waterfront Ground, The Wharf

Photography by Loamis Rodriguez of World Red Eye

November 17, 2017

Miami FL, – November 17, 2017 – Emi Guerra and Alex Mantecon are the business partners of the newest pop-up outdoor event space, The Wharf. Situated on the historic Miami River, The Wharf is unlike any other outdoor special event space that aims to further shape the city’s dynamic local culinary and cultural scene. The Wharf boasts a setting unlike any other in South Florida. The 30,000 square foot open-air pop-up welcomes people looking to please their palates with some of the most delectable libations and culinary creations in town. The Wharf offers spectacular waterfront views because it sits on a bend of the Miami River. 

The location is perfect for anyone looking to grab a drink during happy hour while enjoying the Miami sunset. With an airstream bar, and a rotation of the Miami’s delectable food trucks, retail pop-ups and ping pong tables, The Wharf caters to every consumer.

Business partners Emi Guerra and Alex Mantecon of The Wharf, gave World Red Eye an exclusive look at what the hottest new waterfront hangout in Miami has to offer.

WRE: Tell us a bit about yourself ? 

EG: I’ve been working in the hospitality and nightlife business for close to two decades. As a result, this has opened doors to work with some of the most dynamic venues and brands in a highly competitive Miami entertainment market.

AM: I am a developer, born and raised in Miami. In my younger years, I enjoyed the nightlife scene here. Now, I am married and have kids. Simply life has changed, but what remains the same is how much I love our city.

WRE: Emi you’ve been in nightlife for some time and Alex you’re a developer. Many were surprised to see you both the presenting partners of The Wharf. How did the partnership come about? 

EG: The landscape in Miami has definitely changed. What worked ten years ago and even three years ago, doesn’t work today. Consumers are more evolved and educated, they know exactly what they want and how they want it. We must constantly up the ante. People come to Miami to vacation on the beaches and to explore what the Miami lifestyle has to offer, course a little partying comes along with that to. Hence, we have to keep things fresh and new. There are many differentiators nowadays and in order to service consumers properly, we (as operators) have to evolve and produce different experiences. The consumer market has a dynamic range of people who just want the club life or those who are into cocktailing and exploring the finest Miami restaurants. That being said, The Wharf is a refreshing concept based on the Miami River where guests can sit back and relax with a cocktail and bite in hand.

AM: My other business partner Guillermo Vadell and I had a vision to create a mixed use project on the Miami River. The stars aligned and we got the opportunity with the right partners, to launch a precursor, a “pop up” to introduce the concept. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Emi Guerra for a long time and have enjoyed every moment working alongside with him.

“The landscape in Miami has definitely changed. What worked ten years ago and even three years ago, doesn’t work today. Consumers are more evolved and educated, they know exactly what they want and how they want it.”

WRE: How did the new project “The Wharf ” come about?

EG: After being involved in ”the scene” for so many years, a lot of those who used to love clubbing and dancing till the early hours, but those days are long gone. We all get older and our tastes change. Now, people want more of the casual, “lounge-like” atmosphere. I have found that in my own sphere as I meet many individuals, the majority expressed the desire for venues where one can enjoy conversation in less pretentious setting. The Wharf was a natural response to the demand. I couldn’t be happier to be part of something I feel is a “gamechanger” in Miami. It’s exciting to see the great response in just a week of being open.

WRE: What’s your vision for The Wharf? 

EG: I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Alex Mantecon for a long time. I truly respect what he is doing as a developer in our city. It’s refreshing to see someone with vision for change who also knows how to embrace the ‘old’. He’s doing great things and I am glad we were able to collaborate on The Wharf. Through our friendship came the opportunity to collaborate professionally – there’s no coincidence. I feel that our city is going through a major evolution. Miami is now recognized for our thriving culinary, arts, and fashion scene. Even real estate is hot again. It’s a perfect time to offer people a venue that can encompass so many things and yet be so affordable- in Miami! My vision is to offer simply that; a good time, in a great setting where patrons can enjoy great food and drink on the water. Is there anything better?

AM: My vision is to be part of a change. I hope to play a part in how locals and visitors view the Miami River and Miami in general. I’m fortunate to have the support of visionaries here in Miami who understand how things have changed and we must evolve with the times. It’s truly an exciting time, I know we will see positive changes. With so many young minds on board, such as, Mayor Francis Suarez, and folks like Commissioner Keon Hardemon; they’ve been instrumental in our area by being opened to bringing fresh ideas to the Miami’s “table”. I am truly excited to see what’s next.

“There’s nothing like The Wharf. We’ve really done our best to collaborate with the right groups to create a unique place, that’s interesting in its design.”

WRE: For those who haven’t visited The Wharf, can you describe in one sentence?

EG: The Wharf is a place where friends and families can come together for great food, drinks, music, events, at a unique outdoor waterfront space.

AM: The Wharf is all about fun, food, and cocktails. The Wharf is a non-pretentious environment that’s also kid friendly. (Hey I’m a Dad) I had to mention!

WRE: What is The Wharf’s best selling point?

EG: Location! With a limited time at this location on the Miami River, it’s really special what we are doing here. There truly is nothing like the Wharf. The 30,000 square foot open-air pop-up welcomes patrons looking to please their palates with some of the most delectable libations and culinary creations in town. Miami’s most sought-after food trucks, are on a weekly regular rotation to satisfy all desires. Additionally, a rotation of highly acclaimed chefs hosting one-night special engagements and a fish market & raw bar by local seafood favorite Garcia’s. The Wharf has so much to offer for every consumer.

AM: I feel the best selling point is the price point allowing consumers to enjoy what our “relaxed” space has to offer. There’s nothing like The Wharf. We’ve really done our best to collaborate with the right groups to create a unique place, that’s interesting in its design.

WRE: What are your plans for The Wharf in the future? 

EG: I believe The Wharf is going to change the way people view the Miami River as center of entertainment and diversion. There are already great places to eat and drink around the Miami River but, The Wharf offers an event space. Moreover, this means we can offer wide array of activities, festivals, and food events on a site that offers a diversified setup for almost everything. We don’t have to remain “locked in” to any particular type of cuisine, sound or vibe. The Wharf can host receptions, product launches and even weddings (yes we have already been asked)! What’s next remains to be seen and I am looking forward to that.

AM: The Wharf  has been open for just a week and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. From a development standpoint, I am pleased as this is the “preview” of what’s to come.

Click HERE to see the Original Article on World Red Eye.

Upcoming Events, at The Wharf

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