Best Rock Club - 1999
Readers' Choice: Chili Pepper
The rock scene in Miami isn't exactly overwhelming. In fact it's barely even a scene. But alas there is Churchill's, that dingy, down-to-earth, ultra-British multipurpose pub so often lauded here. It's the place to catch surf-punk legends Agent Orange, experimental rock bands such as Melt Banana and Blonde Redhead, the balls-to-the-walls rock and roll of Nashville Pussy or the Belmont Playboys, the acoustic touch of Diane Ward, and the noise of Rat Bastard and the Laundry Room Squelchers (to name a few). Virtually every local band is welcome to play at Churchill's, and most do. None of which is revelation: Over the past five years, a period when there were other rock clubs around, the unpretentious spot in Little Haiti topped this category four times, with good reasons, including its huge selection of beers and bottom-of-the-barrel prices. The Church offers laissez-faire rock (and drinking and partying) at its grittiest. Proprietor Dave Daniels says that after 40 years in the entertainment business, a lack of musical philosophy propels Churchill's. "I don't like so much of the music, so I don't regulate it from that point of view," Daniels declares. And now getting to Churchill's may be even easier than ever. Daniels recently overhauled an English double-decker bus, and he says that given the right circumstances, he'll provide round-trip transportation for groups of fans.