A mainstay in the Miami mixology scene, Mario Alban of The Wharf proves there’s good reason their nautically-centered saloon is the hottest thing to hit Downtown in decades.
Text by Ryan Jarrell | Photos by Edward Leal | March 7, 2018 | Lifestyle

When it comes to the time-tested tavern technique of Mario Alban, star bartender at locally-loved and much-celebrated downtown den The Wharf, the secret to A-class bartending doesn’t involve rare and utterly unpronounceable ingredients and a cocktail menu as long as your arm. It doesn’t even involve a well-rounded liquor collection or a chic dock and dine locale, both of which the Wharf sports in spades. The secret to truly successful bartending, Alban finds, has less to do with the variety of vintages on tap and everything to do with intention. Specifically, the intention of greeting and gratifying every customer that walks (or anchors) up to his doors. “I love working with people,” he says. “It’s that simple.” A trained paramedic who decided he found life behind the stick infinitely more gratifying, Alban’s resume is a well-rounded account of a loyal employee who’s served every strata of our citizenry, from a decade at the VIP Lounge for the Miami Heat to 6 years working with hospitality honchos The Clevelander South Beach. So why would he want to hoist his sail with this up-and-coming, nautically-themed cantina? “The Wharf is kind of like a mixing pot, it has a little bit of everything,” he says. “It’s family-friendly, but has plenty of places for partying. If you want to bring your dogs, great, if you just want to have a fun night with friends, we’ve got a space for you…Miami is really contained in this bar!”;

Kombucha Mojito
3 spoons Sugar
3-4 slices Lime
8-10 pieces Mint Leaf
1 oz. Bacardi Silver
1 oz. Bacardi Limon
Top with Kombucha