Miami Nightlife's Five Biggest Failures

RIP, Adore.
RIP, Adore.
Photo by Alex Markow

Despite playing host to one of the most vibrant and financially successful club markets in the world, Miami has had more than its fair share of nightlife misfires. In the cutthroat world of capitalist enterprise, one’s product needs to not only be better than the rest, but downright spectacular.

In Miami, this is doubly the case.

Nobody ever said it was easy to run a nightclub, but no one ever said it should be done this abysmally either. The following are the most embarrassing, regrettable, or just plain sad nightlife failures in recent Miami memory.

5. Twilo

If there’s anything all these dearly departed clubs had in common, it was ambition. After all, in order to make it in the ruthless world of Miami hedonism, one needs to have nothing short of unrelenting determination to navigate what is an astoundingly treacherous landscape. Twilo, a once-prosperous and now defunct New York nightclub that sought to relocate to the Miami market in 2006, had drive in spades. Hell, despite having been closed for a decade, it still has a sizable Wikipedia page free of typos and misinformation. But despite being “equipped with a custom Phazon sound system” and possessing “state-of-the-art lighting walls,” Twilo suffered the humiliation of closing down yet again, only further down the East Coast this time.

4. Parkwest Nightclub/Stereo

It only took a month for Parkwest nightclub to hit its first speed bump when the joint got busted for not having the proper permits. Owned by Space’s Louis Puig, Parkwest (or Stereo, as the venue was also briefly called) sat adjacent to Space like a malnourished conjoined twin in what is now a vacant lot behind the venue. In a 2009 New Times article about Parkwest’s death, we wrote: “At first it seemed like it wanted to compete with the Studio A and Pawn Shop set, but when that didn't work out it changed more to traditional house, and after that it just went straight up hip-hop.” It never did find its footing, and after a few months, it quietly died. Luckily, its big sister, Space lived to tell the story.

 

Steam was, um...interesting.
Steam was, um...interesting.
Photo by Karli Evans

3. Steam

Unlike Adore (which we'll get to in a second), Steam had a name befitting its theme and character. Touted as downtown Miami’s first interactive nightclub, Steam was sold to patrons as a sultry affair, with actors engaging club-goers with revealing costumes and sensuous performances (like milk and cereal burlesque). Occupying the space where the beloved Vagabond once stood, Steam, like its predecessor, would wind up vacating the premises as well. Even with the promise of secret, sexy private rooms, the intrigue was not enough to keep Miamians coming back for more. Unfortunately, Steam did not end up bringing sexy back.

Miami Nightlife's Five Biggest Failures
Photo by Justin Namon

2. Karu & Y

A fella wiser than us once said, “Sometimes you eat the bar, and sometimes the bar, well, he eats you.” In the case of late-2000s toast-of-the-town Karu & Y, the bar – or rather, multi-million-dollar litigation – ate them. After weathering a brief closure in 2008 following the Great Recession, Karu & Y operated for another two years before ultimately closing in 2010. As reported in South Florida Business Journal in 2013, Clive Seecomar, the figurehead behind Karu & Y’s initial resurrection, was slapped with a $60 million judgment for reportedly engaging in “civil theft related to a cellphone recycling business he was involved in.” As another wise fella once said, “Don’t enter a nightclub venture if you can’t adequately conceal your additional sketchy business endeavors.” 

Miami Nightlife's Five Biggest Failures
Photo by Alex Markow

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1. Adore

Even with help from party animals like Diplo and 12,000 square feet in which to groove, Miami residents couldn’t find it in their hearts to, shall we say, adore this Las Vegas-style nightclub in the long-ago days of 2014. Owned by Ocean First Group (OFG) and situated inside the Boulan South Beach hotel, Adore shuttered its doors after only 16 weeks of action. As recounted in New Times’ initial reporting on the story, Adore was plagued by comprehensively bad financial management as well as a pronounced lack of clientele, which we suspect may have had something to do with their sparse DJ rosters. Despite operating with a proven formula — throwing wads of money and lavish accoutrements at a Miami nightclub until something sticks — Adore perished as it lived: loud and decidedly unloved.


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