Bougainville Café in Old Florida in danger of eviction


For two decades, the Bougainville Old Florida Tavern, called Bougie’s, has been a place to go for cheap drinks and live music in South Miami.

The bar, housed in a 1940s cottage, has long been a place where everyone, from UM students to modern tenants, can coexist with the common goal of drinking in a pleasant environment.

Now, pleasant neighborhood socializing threatens to close its doors forever.

In an email to New Times, Bougainville’s director of marketing and events, Alcione Gonzalez, said she and bar staff were devastated to learn that at least there was a danger of closure. “After a 20-year stay at Bougainville’s old Florida inn, we are forced to close the door. There are no words to describe what we are currently feeling, but we will try,” Gonzalez wrote.

She enclosed a letter addressed to Bougie’s landlady Ruby Bacardi and said Bacardi “refused to read it, tore it up and tore it in front of our faces”. According to Gonzales, Bacardi is part of the famous ghost dynasty.

Gonzalez shared the letter, which listed the events that led to the possible closure of the beloved bar, on social networks.

According to the letter, Bacardi took over the property in 2009 and seemed to be on good terms with the bar until March 2020, when the pubs were closed during the mandatory coronavirus shutdown. The bar management said it took advantage of the breaks to repair the property, including solving plumbing problems, claiming it had spent about $ 100,000 in the past 12 months.

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On November 4, the letter said, the bar received a letter from Bacardi’s lawyer stating that they had not paid the rent and were in arrears from April to November 2020. After trying to negotiate, the letter said: “We were told that you he just wanted us to leave the property without any explanation. ”

The letter notes that, although the store reopened on October 16, it operated at a reduced capacity. This, combined with the midnight curfew, affected sales.

The lease of Bougainville ends on November 30, and if a new one is not negotiated, the store may have to close. If it closes, 20 employees will be left without income, including, according to the letter, “a myriad of musicians, DJs, entertainers and loyal patrons who will feel a great loss with this decision.”

Gonzalez denied the request for an interview, citing New Times to Ruby Bacardi’s letter. We called Bacardi and we will update this story with more information. A search of the documents did not reveal any unresolved issues of eviction against the bar.

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