In anticipation of the upcoming Best of Miami issue hitting newsstands June 16, here is a sneak peek at one category and its winner.
Best Live Music Venue
697 N. Miami Ave.
Miami needed a midsize venue. After Studio A's closure in 2008, it was evident. The city lacked an adequate place to host midlevel national acts that dare to trek to the farthest reaches of the Florida peninsula. The only alternative was Fort Lauderdale's Revolution Live or Culture Room, but it was unfathomable to think that a major metropolitan city like Miami couldn't have its own music venue of similar size. So it was with much joy that everyone welcomed Grand Central into the fold when it debuted during Winter Music Conference 2010. Nite Jewel of Italians Do It Better and Brooklyn's Tanlines popped the venue's live-music cherry, and since then, acts such as Major Lazer, Kid Sister, Nitzer Ebb, Surfer Blood, the Drums, Crystal Castles, Sleigh Bells, and Golden Filter have performed in front of the venue's signature LED curtain. Local acts have performed too -- among them Afrobeta, Jacuzzi Boys, Modernage, Little Beard, and Old Wives Tale. Getting tanked ain't cheap, though. Well drinks cost $9. But the price includes auto-gratuity -- that's right, you don't have to leave extra dollars for a tip. Also, check into Foursquare for regular drink specials.