Cuba-inspired daiquiri bar and restaurant 14 North opens in Dania Pointe

A bar in Havana, Cuba, made such an impression on Robby Day that he has re-created it here in South Florida.

“I was studying abroad in Central America and I saw this opportunity to go over [to Cuba] for a really discounted price because I didn’t have any money,” Day recalls. “And I visited a place in Havana called Floridita. And this was … in the late ‘90s. It was a long time ago, but it is always stuck in the back of my mind.”

Day manifested that memory into real life with 14 North Daiquiri Bar & Restaurant in the Dania Pointe retail/dining/entertainment complex. 14 North had a soft opening in late February with truncated hours, but will have an official grand opening Thursday, April 28.

Looking back to that trip to Havana, Day says, “It was just this, I was going to say ‘elevated,’ but that is not the right word because nobody was even using that word [with] food and beverage back then. It was just a nice, upscale Caribbean bar. I loved the colors that they used. It was bright. I love the style of service. I just loved everything about it.”

Famous for its daiquiris and being a hangout for Cuban intellectuals as well as the likes of Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound and Graham Greene, Floridita opened in 1817 as La Piña de Plata.

The new venue that pays homage to Floridita is next door to the comedy club Dania Improv, which — like 14 North — is also owned by Day and business partners Chris Carbo and Joel Bachkoff.

“Once the Improv at the Hard Rock closed, we started looking for new locations and couldn’t find the right fit until we discovered Dania Pointe,” adds Bachkoff. “With comedy clubs being destination sites, and Dania Pointe offering a great location combined with a cool mix of retail and nightlife, we also wanted to create another concept next door that could stand out.”

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Along with Improv Comedy Clubs in Miami, Dania Beach and West Palm Beach, the trio also owns Copper Blues Rock Pub & Kitchen in West Palm Beach and Miami as well as Chico Malo restaurant, also in Miami. There are other properties — a restaurant and another comedy club — in Phoenix, where Bachkoff now lives (though he grew up in Coral Springs and frequently returns to SoFlo).

The beef and cheese empanadas at 14 North Daiquiri Bar & Restaurant, a Cuban-themed restaurant in the Dania Pointe center. (Mike Stocker / South Florida Sun Sentinel)

All of which makes the team well-situated to program live entertainment at their latest venture.

“We’ll also have a stage at 14 North to showcase the best in local live music along with other activations throughout the week,” Bachkoff says.

Even now you can go through a back door and enter Dania Improv. At 14 North the entertainment will start with small duos and DJs on the weekends and eventually segue into open-mic shows for local comics, trivia contests and karaoke.

He adds, “So 14 North was born from this idea of giving customers a great experience seeing the biggest and brightest names in comedy at the Improv, and enjoying the island life before or after the show.”

14 North’s indoor space is 2,500 square feet with 60 seats. The 3,000 square foot patio adds another 64 seats.

The brightly hued decor (murals are planned) is festooned with throw-back pieces such as vintage side piece furniture, an old school home theater system, an antique gramophone.

“There’s a huge vintage flea market in Central Florida that I went and picked up some of these pieces just to give kind of like that, antique-y, rustic historic feel to the place,” says Day. “And so those pieces themselves become part of this Instagrammable moment. You know, watching people walk up and see a gramophone … depending on their age, it’s fun to see how they interact with it or respond to it.”

Carbo, who grew up in Coral Springs and now lives in Wellington, says, “It is an excellent location for many reasons. For one, because it is close to the beach. Daiquiris go hand-in-hand with a hot, tropical beach atmosphere. And secondly, we are conveniently located to so many different areas. Whether you are coming from the south, north, or even out west, it is an easy jaunt.”

Robby Day (owner/managing partner), Chris Carbo (owner/managing partner), executive chef Leo Briceno, Joel Bachkoff (owner/managing partner) at 14 North in Dania Beach. (Mike Stocker / South Florida Sun Sentinel)

The name 14 North comes from a bit of a coincidence.

Legend has it that in the early 1900s the daiquiri cocktail was invented in the small port village named Daiquiri, which is 14 miles outside of Santiago de Cuba. The drink makes use of some of the island nation’s resources, namely cane sugar, lime and rum (shaken, strained and served on the rocks).

“In this serendipitous moment we designed the bar without really the name and it turned out we had 14 [daiquiri] machines,” explains Day, who grew up in Plantation and now lives in Miami. “So the 14 miles stuck. And then being that we’re not Cuban … we’re north. I liked the little story about when you’re starting a journey at sea back in the early 1900s finding true north was … kind of your starting point. So it’s kind of like a jumble of all of that.”

The island tuna bowl at 14 North, new Cuban-themed restaurant and daiquiri bar in the Dania Pointe dining/shopping/entertainment center. (Mike Stocker / South Florida Sun Sentinel)

In addition to a 14 daiquiri tap bar, 14 North will offer a Caribbean-themed menu helmed by executive chef Leo Briceño.

Coming out of the kitchen will be shareables and dishes along the likes of:

  • Seven appetizers including pulled pork nachos, grilled cauliflower, conch fritters, fried chicken lollipops and beef empanadas, $10.50-$16.50.
  • Four salads/bowls such as a Dania Cobb salad (with jerk chicken, watermelon, mango and berries) and island tuna poke bowl (with mango-marinated tuna and coconut-lime jasmine rice), $11.50-$16.50.
  • Four hand-helds including jerk chicken sliders and fish tacos, $13.50-$16.50.

The seafood boil at 14 North Daiquiri Bar & Restaurant at Dania Pointe. (Mike Stocker / South Florida Sun Sentinel)

  • Seven entrees and shareable options such as seafood boil, Hawaiian pizza, fried seafood basket and jumbo wings, $13.50-$18.50.
  • In addition to wine, beer and cocktails (mules, mojitos, margaritas), the signature daiquiris will be $14 for 12 ounces and $16 for 16 ounces.

“[It’s] not the same old daiquiri bar our parents went to,” sums up Carbo. We want it to stand out as a great place to stop in for an ‘escape into island time’ — an elevated spot where you can get out of the heat and just relax with some awesome drinks, amazing food, good vibes, cool ambiance and great live entertainment … the perfect place to just chill and mix with friends and family.”

14 North is at 177 N. Pointe Drive, Dania Beach (in the Dania Pointe retail/dining complex).

After the official opening on Thursday, April 28, the restaurant/bar will be open Tuesdays-Sundays for happy hour (which they call “island time”) and dinner.

For more information, call 954-981-5653 or go to, or

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A variety of frozen daiquiris are offered at 14 North Daiquiri Bar & Restaurant. (Mike Stocker / South Florida Sun Sentinel)

14 North, a Cuban-themed restaurant and daiquiri bar in the Dania Pointe dining/shopping/entertainment center, has an outdoor patio with 64 seats. (Mike Stocker / South Florida Sun Sentinel)

There are 14 daiquiris on tap at 14 North in the Dania Pointe dining/shopping/entertainment center. (Mike Stocker / South Florida Sun Sentinel)

Key lime pie is on the menu at 14 North in Dania Pointe. (Mike Stocker / South Florida Sun Sentinel)

14 North Daiquiri Bar & Restaurant has a Cuban, tropical vibe. (Mike Stocker / South Florida Sun Sentinel)

Shrimp ceviche tostones at 14 North. (Mike Stocker / South Florida Sun Sentinel)

Conch fritters are among seven appetizers on the menu at 14 North. (Mike Stocker / South Florida Sun Sentinel)

The bbq pork belly at 14 North, a Cuban-themed restaurant and daiquiri bar in the Dania Pointe dining/shopping/entertainment center. (Mike Stocker / South Florida Sun Sentinel)

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