If yuppies were cars, what a jam we'd really be in. Every Friday afternoon thousands of stressed-out corporate types working off their office rage flood the block in front of this historic restaurant, an actual restored firehouse from the Twenties. Fortunately the only beeping to be heard emanates from the cell phones folks forgot to turn off. And though the riotous live music and free-flowing alcohol can make this happy hour seem like a weekly firetrap populated by stumbling drunks, keep in mind that the bartenders here wield fire hoses of a sort -- even if they do only squirt tonic.
If yuppies were cars, what a jam we'd really be in. Every Friday afternoon thousands of stressed-out corporate types working off their office rage flood the block in front of this historic restaurant, an actual restored firehouse from the Twenties. Fortunately the only beeping to be heard emanates from the cell phones folks forgot to turn off. And though the riotous live music and free-flowing alcohol can make this happy hour seem like a weekly firetrap populated by stumbling drunks, keep in mind that the bartenders here wield fire hoses of a sort -- even if they do only squirt tonic.
In the category of sports involving the launching of potentially dangerous projectiles at targets, skeet shooting seems to lately be eclipsing the more reasonable game of darts. But Miami-Dade still has a few dark corners where dartage remains the call of the day. The newfound passion for the shotgun arts is probably a mere fad, and a more expensive one than tossing the little fin-tailed arrows. Regrettably some of our favorite dart venues have only one board, to wit the Gables Pub at 270 Catalonia Avenue in Coral Gables and the Abbey Brewing Company at 1115 Sixteenth Street in Miami Beach. Others, like Tom's NFL Club in Miami Springs, have eight, but the arrow-chucking crowds are exponentially larger. Irish House posts two traditional dart boards (and one electronic) in a back corner that has plenty of elbow room. And at this friendly bar the only bull is the red one you're aiming for. Even if you can't hit a double-20 to save your life, you can distract yourself with smoked fish, burgers, and bargain-priced suds. The bar does not permit skeet shooting.

In the category of sports involving the launching of potentially dangerous projectiles at targets, skeet shooting seems to lately be eclipsing the more reasonable game of darts. But Miami-Dade still has a few dark corners where dartage remains the call of the day. The newfound passion for the shotgun arts is probably a mere fad, and a more expensive one than tossing the little fin-tailed arrows. Regrettably some of our favorite dart venues have only one board, to wit the Gables Pub at 270 Catalonia Avenue in Coral Gables and the Abbey Brewing Company at 1115 Sixteenth Street in Miami Beach. Others, like Tom's NFL Club in Miami Springs, have eight, but the arrow-chucking crowds are exponentially larger. Irish House posts two traditional dart boards (and one electronic) in a back corner that has plenty of elbow room. And at this friendly bar the only bull is the red one you're aiming for. Even if you can't hit a double-20 to save your life, you can distract yourself with smoked fish, burgers, and bargain-priced suds. The bar does not permit skeet shooting.

Motorcycle? Check. Open road? Check. What else does a biker need? Draft Buds are a buck, White Castle burgers are $1.75, and Marlboros go for twenty dollars per carton. Check, check, and check. Of course the Last Chance is more than a pit stop for biker provisions. It's a pit stop for bikers, many of whom kill the afternoon lounging around the parking lot, shooting the breeze, showing off their metal steeds, and recounting (for the millionth time) how the game warden came in one day, walked up to the canal, and shot the bar's winsome mascot, a fourteen-foot-long, blind, three-legged alligator. (We advise you to refrain from suggesting the warden may have been putting the beloved old thing out of its misery.) Not as rough-and-tumble as the term biker bar implies, the Last Chance nevertheless has all the necessary tough-guy trappings: a John Wayne-size rendering of the Jolly Roger emblazoned with the words Bikers Welcome, a gray and weathered edifice, and a sign that reads "No Whining." Although many travelers stop for supplies or just a breather, the bulk of the crowd is easy riders, some local and some tourists. All are welcome here. But if you're an oversize, blind, three-legged gator, think twice about hanging out for too long.
Motorcycle? Check. Open road? Check. What else does a biker need? Draft Buds are a buck, White Castle burgers are $1.75, and Marlboros go for twenty dollars per carton. Check, check, and check. Of course the Last Chance is more than a pit stop for biker provisions. It's a pit stop for bikers, many of whom kill the afternoon lounging around the parking lot, shooting the breeze, showing off their metal steeds, and recounting (for the millionth time) how the game warden came in one day, walked up to the canal, and shot the bar's winsome mascot, a fourteen-foot-long, blind, three-legged alligator. (We advise you to refrain from suggesting the warden may have been putting the beloved old thing out of its misery.) Not as rough-and-tumble as the term biker bar implies, the Last Chance nevertheless has all the necessary tough-guy trappings: a John Wayne-size rendering of the Jolly Roger emblazoned with the words Bikers Welcome, a gray and weathered edifice, and a sign that reads "No Whining." Although many travelers stop for supplies or just a breather, the bulk of the crowd is easy riders, some local and some tourists. All are welcome here. But if you're an oversize, blind, three-legged gator, think twice about hanging out for too long.
Club Mystique is a landmark of Latin Miami. Hidden in the airport Hilton, the space is big and dark, with quintessentially Scarface-era décor: sunken dance floor, prominent stage, cozy tables accented with wall mirrors. But while other clubs have come and gone, the neon-enhanced Mystique has kept the beat and kept the crowds coming. They come to dance. You'll see the fanciest footwork in the city here from Wednesday to Sunday. On Thursday nights Mystique offers free salsa dance classes, attracting a full house of committed students, from beginners to pros. They come back to show off their stuff on weekends, dancing to the house band or, occasionally, top Latin artists such as Gilberto Santa Rosa or Oscar de Leon. A tab at Mystique won't ruin you, and the dance floor is as accessible as the drinks are. Local Latin residents from various backgrounds, visitors from all over the Latin American map, and even non-Spanish speakers know this is the place to catch some Saturday night fiebre.
La Covacha
Club Mystique is a landmark of Latin Miami. Hidden in the airport Hilton, the space is big and dark, with quintessentially Scarface-era décor: sunken dance floor, prominent stage, cozy tables accented with wall mirrors. But while other clubs have come and gone, the neon-enhanced Mystique has kept the beat and kept the crowds coming. They come to dance. You'll see the fanciest footwork in the city here from Wednesday to Sunday. On Thursday nights Mystique offers free salsa dance classes, attracting a full house of committed students, from beginners to pros. They come back to show off their stuff on weekends, dancing to the house band or, occasionally, top Latin artists such as Gilberto Santa Rosa or Oscar de Leon. A tab at Mystique won't ruin you, and the dance floor is as accessible as the drinks are. Local Latin residents from various backgrounds, visitors from all over the Latin American map, and even non-Spanish speakers know this is the place to catch some Saturday night fiebre.
In 1937, about ten years before Hickey joined the other misfit dreamers in the saloon of Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh, El Toro Bar opened. Old-timers testify that the gin mill was a swell place in those early days, full of sunshine and happy anglers who hoisted brews and spewed fish tales after a day on the bay. In the years that ensued, though, the El Toro devolved along with the neighborhood, becoming a shabby (but still embracing) cave where ol' Hickey would've felt at home. The oak bar is pockmarked. The white acoustic-tile ceiling has been smoke stained to a cheap-cigar brown. Oddly placed mirrors hang slightly askew on the simulated-walnut walls, making the lines of the room appear tilted even to sober observers. The video slot machines wear grimy faces, the crimson tablecloths on the tiny tables emphasize the redness of the nose of the clown gazing from the faded circus poster over by the pool table. The bar's current owners promise change, including a new name (the Office). They promise live music, a menu of fresh bar chow, and dart tournaments with cash prizes. But for now El Toro retains a gloomy atmosphere appropriate for nursing some schnapps and a grudge, or for lounging comfortably with fellow negativists, all properly lubricated and hunkered down together, bemoaning whatever harsh stroke of fate sent them here and together beginning a long night's journey into day. You can park safely in the rear just past the sign that reads "ParkingVegetables" and beneath the commanding billboard that warns, "Winners Don't Drink and Drive."
In 1937, about ten years before Hickey joined the other misfit dreamers in the saloon of Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh, El Toro Bar opened. Old-timers testify that the gin mill was a swell place in those early days, full of sunshine and happy anglers who hoisted brews and spewed fish tales after a day on the bay. In the years that ensued, though, the El Toro devolved along with the neighborhood, becoming a shabby (but still embracing) cave where ol' Hickey would've felt at home. The oak bar is pockmarked. The white acoustic-tile ceiling has been smoke stained to a cheap-cigar brown. Oddly placed mirrors hang slightly askew on the simulated-walnut walls, making the lines of the room appear tilted even to sober observers. The video slot machines wear grimy faces, the crimson tablecloths on the tiny tables emphasize the redness of the nose of the clown gazing from the faded circus poster over by the pool table. The bar's current owners promise change, including a new name (the Office). They promise live music, a menu of fresh bar chow, and dart tournaments with cash prizes. But for now El Toro retains a gloomy atmosphere appropriate for nursing some schnapps and a grudge, or for lounging comfortably with fellow negativists, all properly lubricated and hunkered down together, bemoaning whatever harsh stroke of fate sent them here and together beginning a long night's journey into day. You can park safely in the rear just past the sign that reads "ParkingVegetables" and beneath the commanding billboard that warns, "Winners Don't Drink and Drive."

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®