The streets around the University of Miami were quiet on a drizzly pre-Halloween Sunday night. Most of the campus's inhabitants had hunkered down for the week ahead and the only trace of sound was the rhythmic hum of a blinking yellow traffic light on Ponce de Leon Boulevard. From the empty street you couldn't hear the buzz of activity inside Titanic Brewery (5813 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Coral Gables; 305-667-2537), where a bleach-blond dude in flip-flops was singing Sublime's "Santeria" to a crowd of patrons in uninspired costumes. Some of the getups included Hannibal Lecter, Elvis, German beer wenches, and Afro wigs.
Nothing could be less serious than a bunch of costumed karaoke singers, and so the tone was set for this early Halloween party. Actually the only things taken seriously at Titanic are the microbrewed beers, the strongest of which UM student Robbie certainly appreciated. "This one is the White Star," he said. "I got it 'cause it has the highest alcohol percentage. One beer and I'm already buzzed." Nearby, a guy whose Jimmy Buffett look was no costume said, "This is the best beer in Miami. They brew it right over there." He pointed to a large copper contraption.
If ever any décor were noteworthy in a standard college sports bar, Titanic's microbrewery would be. Looming over the dining area from behind a glass case, it has been the source of many beer-fueled blackouts and, ironically, the only thing clearly recalled the next day.
Onstage a woman sang "Faithfully" by Journey. "That's the wrong song for this meat market," Robbie said as the singer belted out lyrics like a contestant on American Idol. Next a young blond man in eyeglasses and a beanie delivered Elton John's "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" with closed eyes, a trembling jaw, and clenched fists. But just when things were actually getting too serious, the karaoke host announced the winner of the costume contest: Hannibal Lecter. He promptly mounted the stage and burst into a growling rendition of Toto Coelo's "I Eat Cannibals."
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