As we approach high season in Miami Beach and surrounding areas, the world of hospitality and nightlife begin to heat up with new parties, new venues, but with familiar faces. Miami’s ebb and flow has been accelerated in sort by Hurricane Irma’s effects, but as we’ve seen before, Miami stands resilient and practically immune to the typical factors which negatively impact travel and tourism.
It’s true the summer was rather quiet, but no quieter than the average summer, when extremely humid weather and nearly intolerable heat make going outside a pain. When Miami realized it was in Irma’s crosshairs, businesses and residents alike shuttered up and evacuated. Unfortunately for some companies such as the famed and legendary high-end grocery market Epicure, the loss of revenue was too much to overcome. Having been open for 72 years, the loss was felt by many South Beachers who found value in the fact that their pricy store items and produce were of excellent quality. Another major loss is the closing of the iconic Palace Bar, a LGBT mainstay over the last three decades, where you could find drag queens sashaying down the sidewalk lip-synching for both guests at brunch and passers-by. The owners are seeking a new location on Ocean Drive, as the original building is being renovated.
Other notable closings within the restaurant industry include:
Izzy’s Fish & Oyster
River Yacht Club
DB Bistro Moderne
In club news, the old Set nightclub location has morphed into a new club, Mr. Jones. They seem to be the new home of Varsity Fridays”, a party formerly hosted at the now-closed Ivy Nightclub. Liv has also re-opened after being under renovation for the summer.
Notable Club Closings:
Still, despite these closings, it’s business as usual, and as October comes, so does stone crab season, beginning October 15th! Joe’s Stone Crab re-opens for it’s 104th season on October 13th, and if you can’t manage a table, be sure to check out their take-away shop! (I know I’ll be there!)
New Party Alert
Party wise, there’s a few new concepts (including the venue Mr. Jones mentioned above), but typically nightlife is still the same animal tourists and residents have come to love.
Hyde Beach/SLS South Beach launched a new monthly Sunday pool party called “Night Swim” that, you guessed it, extends into the evening. Chris Paciello, the mastermind behind Rockwell, Anatomy 1220, and other local businesses has just opened Jezebel, and it’s South Beach’s answer to the Wynwood model of a resto-lounge with lowkey vibes. Speaking of resto-lounges, Crate in Brickell combines plant-based food with disco balls and DJs!
The Royal Palm Hotel has stepped up their presence by housing the new boutique nightclub EnVie, brought to you by the same people behind the hotel’s restaurant, Byblo. This intimate spot will be featuring House/EDM and underground music on the weekend, and open format/Hip-Hop, on Tuesdays, so be sure to check out this hidden gem!
If sports bars are more your thing, Black Market is a swanky sports bar with 30 4K TVs that just opened in downtown Miami. Miami sports legends are memorialized all throughout the venue alongside arcade games, and word on the street is that the food is really good!
Over in mainland, the people behind Mokai continue to build upon the buzz of their latest venture “Kiki on the River” and its weekly Sunday party.
Miami has seen its share of ups and downs. While it seems that lots of venues and restaurants are sadly closing, there is a lot of action happening behind the scenes for multiple openings slated for late October/early November. The other thing that can be said about entertainment and nightlife in this town is that you will always see familiar faces- the same hospitality and management groups throwing events, and the same guests and client lists who will continue to show up and support. So don’t fret! I'm sure this season will be one to remember!