So, your baby left you the same day you lost your job, and when you got home the landlord was waiting. Well, pull up a stool. Although the King Stable, a Miami mainstay for 31 years, isn't just for the blues, it's a fine place to start. Crammed into its jukebox is an assemblage of 99 songs sure to ease a worried mind. From Big Joe Turner to Sam Cooke, Ruth Brown to Patti LaBelle, the collection is a testament to men and women's cheatin' ways. The box is unsullied by Ricky Martin or Eminem. "I go for the Seventies and Sixties soul and blues," says Adolph King, the establishment's 48-year-old inheritor. "I speak to what I am. My culture. I don't go for no Spanish music. No hip-hop. No rock." Five speakers dispersed throughout the house carry the music with enough bass to fill you with joy, but not make your beer skitter across the bar.
This local honky-tonk has long been a drinking well for Ridge Rats and other South Miami-Dade folks. It used to be called Norm's Hideaway back in the Eighties, and many an illegal substance could be found there. Now renamed and expanded, it continues to quench the needs of locals, though not with quite the same wild abandon. Still, no matter the day of the week, chances are there is something to do at BB's. Tuesday is Ping-Pong night. Wednesday is in-line dancing with a country DJ. Thursday is reserved for tournaments on at least seventeen dart boards and two pool tables. Friday and Saturday nights feature rock or blues bands on a small stage in the corner (no cover), with room to dance underneath two disco balls. And sometimes on Sundays, regulars play volleyball out by the parking lot. BB's has come a long way in the past twenty years, but one look at the guy aggressively playing air guitar at the bar and you have to wonder.
Debuting this year amid more new nightspots than South Beach has ever seen, Level has the personnel, parties, and square footage to rise above all else in clubland. Led by nightlife impresario and fashion designer Gerry Kelly, this huge yet versatile space hosts everything: the grandest of bashes and the smallest soirees. From the intimate upstairs room dubbed Level 6 to the Boiler Room to the lobbies of the up- and downstairs to the expansive main room, all areas can be used on their own or combined with others. Kelly and crew put the adaptable interior to good use, hosting a variety of parties, such as the megaurban hit Little Leroy's Lyric Lounge on Monday; fashion showcases on Thursday, the Federation/1235 gay party on Friday, the usual packed dance night on Saturday, and a recently reintroduced reggae night, which occasionally features live performances, on Sunday. A busy schedule for sure, keeping this South Beach club always engaged and always engaging.
This darkly hued downtown oasis is ideal for checking your investments while you quaff some refreshments. Sure it's a national chain with a gimmick: a news ticker. But at least it's an informative gimmick. Sit in air-conditioned elegance while the headlines and stock market updates whiz by on the wall. Somehow it's more exciting than watching television over the massive wooden bar. Steeped in sophistication the Capital Grille bar is cigar-friendly and aurally agreeable: A piano player jams nearby from Tuesday through Saturday. There is no happy hour to attract the boisterous riffraff, though you may get to observe how your neighbor at the bar reacts when he loses his shorts on those technology stocks.
The pirates from Mixx 96 FM make merry every Friday night at the Mad House on Key Biscayne. A breeze wafts over the outdoor soca deck on the bay and boats pull right up to the dance floor. The Trini South Boys along with DJs House Arrest and Giselle "the Wassy One" make the crowd jump and wave to the latest sounds of the Caribbean. For those whose taste for island music runs closer to the ground, grinding is guaranteed with DJs Khalid, Fashion, and the marvelous Lady Terror spinning dancehall and hip-hop inside. From the moment doors open at midnight, the place is packed with people representing the Jamaican Crew, the Trinidadian Crew, the Bahamian Crew, the Virgin Islands Crew, and crews from every other Caribbean enclave. Expect even bigger crowds when big name guests like King Addis and Matterhorn fly in from New York and Kingston.
Proper preparation is the key to life. It not only applies to careers; it carries over to the social scene. One can hardly stroll sober into a South Beach nightclub and easily mingle with the depraved. Enter Blue. This intimate bar lies several paces away from the hippest spots on Washington Avenue. The cool blue tones that dominate the interior are barely discernible in the softly lit atmosphere. Techno music vibrates the walls and prepares the ears for the imminent onslaught of bass. Anyone, including VIPs, can lounge on the (what else?) blue leather couches or perch on the cone-shape stools that line the bar. Luckily this azure pit stop won't give rise to the blues by busting the budget. There is no cover charge and drinks are reasonably priced, for the Beach. Once that old tingly feeling arises, hit the strip and stride confidently up to that velvet rope. You are now ready for the revelry inside.
Macabi's began as a retail store with one of the best tobacco selections around, as well as some of the best prices. But last June, after the nationwide cigar boom began to wane, owners Henry Vilar and Arturo Sosa transformed their showroom into a smoke room, complete with high-end liquors and cordials. Now, after picking out a hefty Arturo Fuente Hemingway (at seven dollars, not a bad price) in the walk-in humidor, you can settle into a plush chair, sip a Fonseca port, and depending on the night, enjoy music (Friday is latin jazz, Saturday is often blues) or games (Tuesday night the old-school fumadores gather to play dominoes).

Twist
E.M.
All gay. All the time. Believe it or not, in an area that some call the new gay mecca, surprisingly few bars or nightspots cater exclusively to the gay market. Recently renovated, this club now boasts three spacious spaces, including an outdoor patio, so there's plenty of room to move around. Bartenders and clientele that are among the nicest on South Beach and music that always pumps ensures you'll have a gay old time.
Añoranzas (which means "longing" in Spanish) is the perfect place to lose yourself in yearning for a loved one. The décor is ripe for nostalgia, done up with rough-hewn wooden tables and a thatched ceiling, just like a cantina in the Medellín, Colombia, countryside. An actual chiva -- a brightly painted country bus -- is built into one wall, its narrow seats converted into booths perfect for cuddling. The pungent national liquor, aguardiente, flows copiously, warming even the coolest hearts. Romantic oldies from Colombia's big bands of the Forties and Fifties alternate with heartbreaking tangos and mournful vallenatos. People say of the contemplative genre from the Colombian coast: "The vallenato is not for dancing." And they're right. It's for swaying on the dance floor in an embrace so close that the sound of your lover's breath seems like an accompaniment to the accordion.

Tom's has two British-made dart boards, located in a carpeted corner, a comfortable distance from pool tables, TVs, and those tipsy folks over by the bar. That distance is important, because darting mishaps can ruin an otherwise fabulous outing and prompt an awkward conversation.

Tipsy man to another tipsy man: "Hey, good buddy, you've got the biggest weirdest mosquito sucking on the side of your head."

Dart player with British accent, removing the projectile: "Sorry, mate."

You know Tom's takes darting seriously, because two little green chalkboards for scorekeeping hang on the wall. They are sometimes used by local heavies of the dart world, members of the Miami-Dade Darting Association. If you're not a dart shark yourself, ask for a set at the bar. While there you'll also find an array of draft beer and wines, along with mixed drinks. The menu pierces expectations of humdrum bar-and-grill fare with items such as smoked tomato soup ($3.50), barbecue chicken pizza ($7.95), sesame seared tuna ($7.95), fresh fish-of-the-day sandwiches ($7.95), and a portobello mushroom burger ($6.95).

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®