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.

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.

What makes a VIP room very important is not what kind of champagne is served, or how much room one has to boogie in, or even how much privacy is afforded the club druggies. No, what really matters is how long a wait people will put up with to get in. The hep cats at Mynt have made an art out of handling the door in this rude manner, creating an entire club that feels like one big VIP room. That first velvet rope -- illegally placed on public property or not -- is a bitch to get past, but inside celebs are a dime a dozen and everyone else, um, well, got past the door monkeys out front. Money, fame, and charm are the minimum requirements to get in. Patrons will quickly learn that beauty is the ultimate currency to grease the palms of the guardians of the entrance. That's the way it goes when an entire club is a VIP room. Unless you go someplace else.

What makes a VIP room very important is not what kind of champagne is served, or how much room one has to boogie in, or even how much privacy is afforded the club druggies. No, what really matters is how long a wait people will put up with to get in. The hep cats at Mynt have made an art out of handling the door in this rude manner, creating an entire club that feels like one big VIP room. That first velvet rope -- illegally placed on public property or not -- is a bitch to get past, but inside celebs are a dime a dozen and everyone else, um, well, got past the door monkeys out front. Money, fame, and charm are the minimum requirements to get in. Patrons will quickly learn that beauty is the ultimate currency to grease the palms of the guardians of the entrance. That's the way it goes when an entire club is a VIP room. Unless you go someplace else.

Eclectic. That's the adjective to describe the type of people who frequent Starlite Diner, and to describe the perfect crowd for this fad that will not die. There's "Roxy," age fifteen. Hidden inside the Kendall Village Plaza, under the mask of night, she and some of her fellow Narcotics Anonymous group members are huddled, pounding cheap drinks and perusing the long list of songs. On the stage, four gay frat boys eat it up as the large audience goes crazy over their performance. (Suggested name for this group should it seek stardom: The Four Gay Frat Boys.) In the bathroom -- beyond the Fifties-style décor that reminds one of a more innocent time -- a waiter from the restaurant across the way is being arrested (bench warrant). He was holed up in a stall with two girls snorting coke. An angry boyfriend of one of the girls has called the cops, and in a few moments they're taking Powder Nose away in cuffs -- just as Karaoke Ben, the emcee, is calling for the jailbird to perform a rendition of Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby." Now that's karaoke.

Eclectic. That's the adjective to describe the type of people who frequent Starlite Diner, and to describe the perfect crowd for this fad that will not die. There's "Roxy," age fifteen. Hidden inside the Kendall Village Plaza, under the mask of night, she and some of her fellow Narcotics Anonymous group members are huddled, pounding cheap drinks and perusing the long list of songs. On the stage, four gay frat boys eat it up as the large audience goes crazy over their performance. (Suggested name for this group should it seek stardom: The Four Gay Frat Boys.) In the bathroom -- beyond the Fifties-style décor that reminds one of a more innocent time -- a waiter from the restaurant across the way is being arrested (bench warrant). He was holed up in a stall with two girls snorting coke. An angry boyfriend of one of the girls has called the cops, and in a few moments they're taking Powder Nose away in cuffs -- just as Karaoke Ben, the emcee, is calling for the jailbird to perform a rendition of Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby." Now that's karaoke.

Brooklyn transplant DJ LS One has spun for numerous rap stars over the past decade, including Onyx and DMX. These days, however, he merely takes the good people who pack the Bermuda Bar every Friday night on an adventure, cutting up the wax with a dexterity that leaves them breathless, even as they try to match his paces on the dance floor. If hearing him live on the ones and twos isn't enough for you, check him out on the Beat (WMIB-FM 103.5) every weekday from 9:00-10:00 p.m.

Brooklyn transplant DJ LS One has spun for numerous rap stars over the past decade, including Onyx and DMX. These days, however, he merely takes the good people who pack the Bermuda Bar every Friday night on an adventure, cutting up the wax with a dexterity that leaves them breathless, even as they try to match his paces on the dance floor. If hearing him live on the ones and twos isn't enough for you, check him out on the Beat (WMIB-FM 103.5) every weekday from 9:00-10:00 p.m.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®