The mechanical makeup of the jukebox at the Sandbar is nothing extraordinary. It's a typical CD changer writ large but lacking fancy functions or a connection to the Internet. This particular box contains winner music from every pop genre of the past 40 years. Sadly that includes concessions to the loser music of today (Avril Lavigne, Pink ...). You'll still need a roll or two of quarters for the killer: The Clash, Bowie, Oingo Boingo, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, James Brown, Al Green, Patti Smith, B.B. King, the Pretenders, the Cure, Ludacris, and like that. This joint may not be fancy, but you can accompany your boozing with a soundtrack that's nothing short of intoxicating.

How do they do it? After three years of busting out their slinky Afro-Cuban-steeped funk, the Spam Allstars are still at it, week after week, holding court every Thursday evening for Fuácata, which is the party around here. Even Miami's too-cool-for-school hipsters find themselves hitting the dance floor and making with the mashed potato. And thanks to Fuácata's spacious new digs at I/O (after its run at old Little Havana roost Hoy Como Ayer), there's room to get your groove on without simultaneously getting your limbs caught up in someone else's groove thang. Rather than taking their enduring popularity as a license to play it safe, the Spamsters have managed to expand their wild DJ-with-band sound, jamming with the legendary salsa master Larry Harlow, collaborating with Phish keyboardist Paige McConnell, or simply following their guitarist Adam Zimmon into uncharted rhythmic territory, which he explores like a musical Magellan. Fuácata's lack of pretension is leavened by the right dash of neighborhood grit seeping in from downtown streets. This weekly shindig's welcoming vibe and multiethnic crowd represents what so many out-of-towners assume rules this metropolis eight days a week. Locals know better, but on Thursdays we can still pretend.

How do they do it? After three years of busting out their slinky Afro-Cuban-steeped funk, the Spam Allstars are still at it, week after week, holding court every Thursday evening for Fuácata, which is the party around here. Even Miami's too-cool-for-school hipsters find themselves hitting the dance floor and making with the mashed potato. And thanks to Fuácata's spacious new digs at I/O (after its run at old Little Havana roost Hoy Como Ayer), there's room to get your groove on without simultaneously getting your limbs caught up in someone else's groove thang. Rather than taking their enduring popularity as a license to play it safe, the Spamsters have managed to expand their wild DJ-with-band sound, jamming with the legendary salsa master Larry Harlow, collaborating with Phish keyboardist Paige McConnell, or simply following their guitarist Adam Zimmon into uncharted rhythmic territory, which he explores like a musical Magellan. Fuácata's lack of pretension is leavened by the right dash of neighborhood grit seeping in from downtown streets. This weekly shindig's welcoming vibe and multiethnic crowd represents what so many out-of-towners assume rules this metropolis eight days a week. Locals know better, but on Thursdays we can still pretend.

A conversation with Michael Capponi never lasts too long or goes too deep. It's not that the man behind nationally acclaimed nights at Prive, B.E.D., Mansion, and the DiLido Beach Club is inattentive or shallow; it's because the lifestyle of this perpetual host leaves little time for schmoozing. Capponi, whose elegant Belgian demeanor mixes with surfer-boy charm, is often seen posing for photos with celebri-friends such as Ashton Kutcher, P. Diddy, and Madonna. Since re-emerging from a two-year pilgrimage to Guadeloupe and Europe (partly to cleanse his partied-out body and soul), Capponi has ascended to the top of the party heap: sought out by magazines, developers, sporting-event promoters, and charity organizers whenever they want to put together a badass bash.

A conversation with Michael Capponi never lasts too long or goes too deep. It's not that the man behind nationally acclaimed nights at Prive, B.E.D., Mansion, and the DiLido Beach Club is inattentive or shallow; it's because the lifestyle of this perpetual host leaves little time for schmoozing. Capponi, whose elegant Belgian demeanor mixes with surfer-boy charm, is often seen posing for photos with celebri-friends such as Ashton Kutcher, P. Diddy, and Madonna. Since re-emerging from a two-year pilgrimage to Guadeloupe and Europe (partly to cleanse his partied-out body and soul), Capponi has ascended to the top of the party heap: sought out by magazines, developers, sporting-event promoters, and charity organizers whenever they want to put together a badass bash.

A seemingly incongruous setting for the consummate cocktail, the Marlin's bar actually serves a splendid version of the original, with your choice of top-shelf gin and vermouth as well as the newfangled blends involving apple schnapps or whatever. For atmosphere, the curving bar is long enough to accommodate your whole posse and low-key enough for sitting alone; comfortable sofas and seats are scattered around the open room. Experimental films, world music, and reggae provide accompaniments to your olive-or-not, shaken-or-stirred, gin or vodka reason to be here. As is typical with Miami Beach bars, drinks are pricey and door people sometimes less than extroverted, but the martini in your hand and the dizzying stimuli make the Marlin Bar a keeper, an absolute must for year-round residents to get to know.

A seemingly incongruous setting for the consummate cocktail, the Marlin's bar actually serves a splendid version of the original, with your choice of top-shelf gin and vermouth as well as the newfangled blends involving apple schnapps or whatever. For atmosphere, the curving bar is long enough to accommodate your whole posse and low-key enough for sitting alone; comfortable sofas and seats are scattered around the open room. Experimental films, world music, and reggae provide accompaniments to your olive-or-not, shaken-or-stirred, gin or vodka reason to be here. As is typical with Miami Beach bars, drinks are pricey and door people sometimes less than extroverted, but the martini in your hand and the dizzying stimuli make the Marlin Bar a keeper, an absolute must for year-round residents to get to know.

After too many years of snooty dress codes, most clubs, even the chichi hot spots, have loosened up and opened their hallowed doors to patrons wearing jeans. Good old denim, the fabric that changed America, conquers another frontier. It used to be that admittance to a high-end joint began with expensive slacks for men and short skirts for women, but these nights it's all about looking cool, not elegant, so "proper attire required" is an instruction better left to galas. Not that regal clothes are evil. Linen pants are classy, but denim is classic, and a pair of well-worn Levis with a white button-down shirt and leather boots is as dressed up as anybody needs be to consume alcohol, endure pounding music, and maybe get laid. Besides, jeans look better with another nightlife fashion trend: pink shirts. Further, it should be noted that nothing clashes with earplugs.

After too many years of snooty dress codes, most clubs, even the chichi hot spots, have loosened up and opened their hallowed doors to patrons wearing jeans. Good old denim, the fabric that changed America, conquers another frontier. It used to be that admittance to a high-end joint began with expensive slacks for men and short skirts for women, but these nights it's all about looking cool, not elegant, so "proper attire required" is an instruction better left to galas. Not that regal clothes are evil. Linen pants are classy, but denim is classic, and a pair of well-worn Levis with a white button-down shirt and leather boots is as dressed up as anybody needs be to consume alcohol, endure pounding music, and maybe get laid. Besides, jeans look better with another nightlife fashion trend: pink shirts. Further, it should be noted that nothing clashes with earplugs.

Gordon Biersch Brewery & Restaurant
Admittedly there are wittier and more attractive crowds than the corporate types gathered at Gordon Biersch during its festive happy hour, which kicks off every day (except the already popular Friday) at 5:00 p.m. But fun's the point (it's called "happy" for a reason), and there's great fun to be had sipping a cold brew after the paycheck grind as a horde of suits romp around a Brickell Avenue, oak-paneled brewery/restaurant with the carelessness and glee of unsupervised children. Accountants, lawyers, and other executive types tend to have the social skills of your average turtle -- which increases the entertainment value in watching the action at the bar, where the need for another drink and the guzzling of entire mugs of beer result in a kinetic energy and loosening of ties. For these people the ability to relate to other human beings (especially those of the opposite sex) in an engaging way requires copious amounts of alcohol. And with a sweeping selection of beer and skilled bartenders able to whip up any cocktail ever invented, Gordon Biersch is the perfect place for them to get sauced. And for you to enjoy the show.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®