Best Neighborhood Bar/Miami Beach (1999)

Zeke's Roadhouse

On New Year's Eve, with crowds of tourists swarming Lincoln Road, Zeke's owner Victor Deutsch closed early. "Too many problems," the erstwhile engineer said. Friends protested, not because there was a lack of bars to visit, but because they wanted to see Zeke's profit from the surge in activity. "We're a locals' bar," Deutsch told his supporters. "We're not sprinters, we're marathon runners." Deutsch keeps his formula simple: dozens of beers on tap and in bottles, each for three dollars. He has no lack of loyal patrons. The interior, with its long, inviting bar, makes for a perfect hangout. But why linger inside? The bonus is that after you acquire your beer, you can carry it out to a table on Lincoln Road. Shazaam! Now you're just like one of the fatcat tourists paying for the privilege of alfresco accommodations at the restaurant next door. On Wednesdays, however, prime time is inside as South Park airs. The place fills, and you better not think of engaging in idle conversation. On that night, Deutsch and manager Tobin Wehrle do not suffer gladly any jabbering. Wehrle, possibly the gruffest bartender who watches cartoons, won't even feign politeness when he orders you outside unless you cut the yappin'. "Don't cause problems," Wehrle says.


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