There is something about the spirit in this little club on Calle Ocho that will not die. Change owners, change the name, change the musical attraction: no matter. Two years of the wild success of the now-defunct weekly Fuácata party allowed the club to expand, with more spacious seating in the front and an intimate lounge in the back. The club has played host to many a marooned talent, from Albita to Carlos Averhoff to Malena Burke, insufficiently appreciated in other quarters. Regular parties come and go with a pleasant ebb and flow: Conjunto Progreso stirred up Sunday evenings for a time; Palo currently sizzles on Thursdays. Every other Wednesday celebrates the talents of local songwriters. Intriguing visitors are always welcome, from adventurous belly dancers to itinerant groove meisters like this year's favorite, Siete Rayo. There's no way to know exactly what awaits when you push past Hoy Como Ayer's heavy wooden door. Patrons can be sure only that they will be happy they came.

If it were up to South Pointe residents, there would be no wild nights at Opium Garden or its upstairs VIP playpen, called Prive. The venue's open-air structure doesn't exactly qualify as soundproof, so it's not only the party people inside who are staying up all night listening to loud music. Every weekend herds of nocturnal creatures crowd the entrances of the club, with the hope that one of the snooty French doormen will grant entry. So what is it about this place, besides platinum bodies and plush décor, that attracts so many A-listers and wannabes? Lots of celebrities. Of all SoBe institutions, this is where your spastic movements are most likely to lead into a rub with some star or another. As you trip the light fantastic, you may stumble upon Paris Hilton (getting down with Ingrid Casares), Anika Kournikova (tending bar while wearing just enough fabric to cover her personal parts), or Kid Rock (throwing down an impromptu performance from the DJ booth). It's like 1975 all over again, so dance, dance, dance.

If it were up to South Pointe residents, there would be no wild nights at Opium Garden or its upstairs VIP playpen, called Prive. The venue's open-air structure doesn't exactly qualify as soundproof, so it's not only the party people inside who are staying up all night listening to loud music. Every weekend herds of nocturnal creatures crowd the entrances of the club, with the hope that one of the snooty French doormen will grant entry. So what is it about this place, besides platinum bodies and plush décor, that attracts so many A-listers and wannabes? Lots of celebrities. Of all SoBe institutions, this is where your spastic movements are most likely to lead into a rub with some star or another. As you trip the light fantastic, you may stumble upon Paris Hilton (getting down with Ingrid Casares), Anika Kournikova (tending bar while wearing just enough fabric to cover her personal parts), or Kid Rock (throwing down an impromptu performance from the DJ booth). It's like 1975 all over again, so dance, dance, dance.

Playing frustrated author and original club kid James St. James in 2003's Party Monster, Seth Green proved to be a consummate method actor with range far beyond sassing his dad about the Alan Parsons Project as Scott Evil in the Austin Powers franchise. With skin so milky and translucent that his veins show, Titian-toned hair, and golden irises offset by fans of marigold eyelashes, Seth is ethereal eye candy -- and a mec formidable, too. Mr. Green tore up the slopes and the clubs in Park City at the Party Monster debut during the Sundance Film Festival. It would be cool to hang out with Seth in Miami, but where to take the apricot-hued sex god? Not to a Heat game, but someplace hot. Ah! An excursion to Jakmel, where Jude "Papaloko" Thegenus opens his art exhibitions with a blessing ceremony in his gallery's colorful, vodou-inspired back yard. Dancing, along with consumption of large amounts of Barbancourt, follows. Now, don't go collapsing onto the pixie-size thespian. Keep a respectful forearm's length between each other, sway along with the palm fronds, then become trapped in those pools of amber. Shall you shag now, or later? Be careful, or you'll get cross-mojo-lation, and heads will explode.

Playing frustrated author and original club kid James St. James in 2003's Party Monster, Seth Green proved to be a consummate method actor with range far beyond sassing his dad about the Alan Parsons Project as Scott Evil in the Austin Powers franchise. With skin so milky and translucent that his veins show, Titian-toned hair, and golden irises offset by fans of marigold eyelashes, Seth is ethereal eye candy -- and a mec formidable, too. Mr. Green tore up the slopes and the clubs in Park City at the Party Monster debut during the Sundance Film Festival. It would be cool to hang out with Seth in Miami, but where to take the apricot-hued sex god? Not to a Heat game, but someplace hot. Ah! An excursion to Jakmel, where Jude "Papaloko" Thegenus opens his art exhibitions with a blessing ceremony in his gallery's colorful, vodou-inspired back yard. Dancing, along with consumption of large amounts of Barbancourt, follows. Now, don't go collapsing onto the pixie-size thespian. Keep a respectful forearm's length between each other, sway along with the palm fronds, then become trapped in those pools of amber. Shall you shag now, or later? Be careful, or you'll get cross-mojo-lation, and heads will explode.

Twist
E.M.
Incorporating everything from the frightening to the fabulous, Twist roars on. In July the late-night watering hole completes eleven years as South Beach's reigning queer party place. In that time it's endured failed competition from countless gay bars that sprouted up, then withered. That puts Twist into the sphere of the old reliable, a regular lounge for fun and more fun. (The "more" is up to you, but please use protection.) Recently the smaller hip-hop space on the second floor has been the most festive of Twist's seven rooms, with drag shows and young boys and girls partying the night into day. The main room still trudges along with its mix of house music, jungle beats, and a dimly lighted dance floor perfect for groping. Still the back bungalow bar -- where underwear-clad muscle boys rub up against you for a dollar -- remains the top investment of time here. Whichever room you choose, know that Twist keeps rocking until 5:00 a.m. and the later it gets, the better.

Incorporating everything from the frightening to the fabulous, Twist roars on. In July the late-night watering hole completes eleven years as South Beach's reigning queer party place. In that time it's endured failed competition from countless gay bars that sprouted up, then withered. That puts Twist into the sphere of the old reliable, a regular lounge for fun and more fun. (The "more" is up to you, but please use protection.) Recently the smaller hip-hop space on the second floor has been the most festive of Twist's seven rooms, with drag shows and young boys and girls partying the night into day. The main room still trudges along with its mix of house music, jungle beats, and a dimly lighted dance floor perfect for groping. Still the back bungalow bar -- where underwear-clad muscle boys rub up against you for a dollar -- remains the top investment of time here. Whichever room you choose, know that Twist keeps rocking until 5:00 a.m. and the later it gets, the better.

The categorical appellation may call up visions of tony saloons where moneyed patrons drink top-shelf scotch, shoot straight pool on a full-size table with clean green felt stretching veldtlike bumper-to-bumper. Or maybe the old neighborhood watering hole, where the regulars gather nightly to cheer and weep for the home team before stumbling out as brothers in arms (literally). Forget those. Hooligan's maintains a chain-franchise feel, and, even more shocking, the South Dade location is in (gasp!) a strip mall. But the paradox on the highway satisfies more-important requisites, those of proles: a spacious tavern (caveat: beware drunk-ass karaoke near the Raw Bar) perfect for sitting with a shot of rail bourbon and a sweating bottle of Bud. Relaxation increases with the sounds of clientele: Pinecrest locals and rambling bikers next to backward-ball-cap-wearing UM jocks, everyone cursing Wannstedt or Fiedler. Later, visit distractions for short attention spans, including video games, less-than-perfect pool tables, a kickin' jukebox, and television sets aplenty.

The categorical appellation may call up visions of tony saloons where moneyed patrons drink top-shelf scotch, shoot straight pool on a full-size table with clean green felt stretching veldtlike bumper-to-bumper. Or maybe the old neighborhood watering hole, where the regulars gather nightly to cheer and weep for the home team before stumbling out as brothers in arms (literally). Forget those. Hooligan's maintains a chain-franchise feel, and, even more shocking, the South Dade location is in (gasp!) a strip mall. But the paradox on the highway satisfies more-important requisites, those of proles: a spacious tavern (caveat: beware drunk-ass karaoke near the Raw Bar) perfect for sitting with a shot of rail bourbon and a sweating bottle of Bud. Relaxation increases with the sounds of clientele: Pinecrest locals and rambling bikers next to backward-ball-cap-wearing UM jocks, everyone cursing Wannstedt or Fiedler. Later, visit distractions for short attention spans, including video games, less-than-perfect pool tables, a kickin' jukebox, and television sets aplenty.

Segafredo is a place for cocktails, period. It's not the bar of some hotel or restaurant, which are, in effect, expensive waiting rooms where diners are damn near forced to buy drinks as the clock ticks on. Segafredo is not some club masquerading as a "lounge," devoid of people until it's late enough and the music's loud enough. Segafredo is no smoky, rowdy, low-rent gin joint. No, gentle elbow benders, Segafredo has no other intent than to allow you to imbibe a cocktail at your leisure while you behave yourself in a peaceful and elegant setting. This is a place for adults to relax while watching the crowd move by on Lincoln Road. Drinks are well made (try the Negroni -- gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth), and, for the Beach, decently priced at $7.50. Because of its specificity of purpose, you don't feel pressured to order food (although they do offer tasteful appetizers). Owners Graziano Sbroggio and Mark Soyka, and general manager Luca Voltarel, have kept the place humming for four years now, even as the building the bar is attached to is being demolished.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®