December 22, 2014
By Al Mancini
Finally, I got my first peek inside Yardbird Southern Table & Bar this week. While the Miami import isn’t scheduled to soft open until December 29, with an official grand opening planned for late January, owner John Kunkel gave me the so-called “hardhat” tour (even though my hair would never fit into a hardhat). The huge space, previously home to Pinot Brasserie, already looks amazing, with a front bar opening onto the promenade between the Venetian and the Palazzo, a large casual dining room, and a plush private room where Kunkel hopes to throw whiskey tastings and other cool events. The walls will be adorned with a collection of rare and never before seen photos of film stars, musicians and other celebrities from the 1940′s through the ’90′s shot by cinematic photographer John R Hamilton, including shots of John Wayne, Steve McQueen, Ann-Margret, Johnny Cash, James Taylor and Paul Newman. Kunkel expects the fried chicken to emerge as the restaurant’s signature dish, and is also hoping to wow cocktail connoisseurs with Yardbird’s carved ice program.