Restaurant Thrives in Unexpected Location
A waiter brings out a plate of Korean style brussell sprouts, one of Finka’s many LatinAsian fusion specialties. Food like this isn’t an everyday sight in West Kendall, but locals aren’t complaining: many welcome the change of pace that’s even fresher than the food.
“Well, we’re in a very random part of Miami,” said Eileen Andrade, owner of Finka Table and Tap. “In this area we don’t have a lot of restaurants. We don’t have a lot of fun things to do. So Finka has kind of been an explosion of just, like, great cocktails, great food, really cool ambiance, because this area is just lacking that.”
Andrade now recognizes that her restaurant fills a void for a modern atmosphere and specialty food that locals desire. However, she wasn’t always so confident. “To be honest, I was a little nervous,” Andrade recalled. “Our restaurant is very, very big: we sit about two-hundred-and-thirty people. I was worried—although I do believe in my brand— I was very worried about seating every single spot.”
If she doesn’t seat every single spot, she definitely comes close. Customers come not only from West Kendall, but from all around the city to experience Finka. “What attracted me,” frequent customer Milex Hernandez explained, “was that there’s not really very many things in West Kendall like this place to come to. Not a cool, like, you know, a little hipster place where you can come have great food, you can come have good cocktails, you can come meet a lot of new people. It’s a really good vibe here that we haven’t had here in a long time. So as soon as this place opened, I said ‘I’ve got to check it out’.”
While Finka’s food is highly regarded in Miami, it principally provides an opportunity to widen customers’ horizons. “As these dishes come out,” said Finka line cook Fernando Molestina, “a lot of people are used to a certain style. They’re used to a certain taste, either because it’s what they’re used to or they just don’t reach out from what they know, from what they’re comfortable with.”
However, it seems as though if locals wish to reach out from what they know, they’ll still have to drive out to West Kendall. “It’s very difficult to replicate Finka,” Andrade reflected. “Finka is it’s own little entity; I could never replicate it.” Finka may not plan to expand. However, singularity perfectly reflects the uniqueness that many customers cherish. It appears as though Finka will remain a hotspot for residents who crave adventure even more than the quality food that the restaurant serves.