Restaurateurs Dan Binkiewicz, Mauricio Lacayo, and Orlando Lamas, along with cantinero Julio Cabrera and chef Daniel Gonzalez, envision Chela’s as a long-term pop-up — and, if all goes well, maybe a permanent fixture.
Binkiewicz is responsible for some of Miami’s best bars, including Blackbird Ordinary in Brickell, the Bar in Coral Gables, and Sweet Liberty on South Beach. Cabrera, who brought the elegance of Cuba’s cantineros to Cafe la Trova in Little Havana, has graced the cover of GQ and was named “bartender of the year” at the 2019 Spirited Awards at Tales of the Cocktail. Lacayo, a partner at Cafe La Trova, also co-owns the Bend Liquor Lounge in Miami Lakes in partnership with Lamas. And Miami dining scene veteran Gonzalez co-owns HotLime Craft Tacos and Ceviche Bar, which operates locations in Sistrunk Market in Fort Lauderdale and at MIA Market in the Design District.
The quintet has been quietly working on transforming a shuttered location of the On the Border Mexican restaurant chain that’s prominently located at the entrance to Miami Lakes’ Main Street development.