BEST NIGHTCLUB TO DIE IN THE PAST TWELVE MONTHS

Nerve Lounge

Mario Sopena's vision created the chillest place on South Beach. Hassle free and far enough from the glitterati of Washington Avenue, it attracted the hottest DJs thanks to the creative bookings of Michael Storms. Notable personalities like Rudolph Piper, Jon Cowan, and Sami Stormo helped spread the word, and for a time it seemed Nerve was on its way to earning a place among the South Beach standards with its dance-friendly and relaxed attitude. Then, after some discord behind closed doors, lawsuits over equity, and the demise of its neighbor Rain, Nerve began to unravel. Nerve tried to reinvent itself as an exclusive joint for big spenders, but it was too late. The pulse of the venue slowed to a still until it finally vanished into the clubland void. RIP Nerve Lounge.

Flanigan's Seafood Bar & Grill
It's Sunday night and you're still suffering from a wicked hangover. You need food, water, and a little hair of the dog. The best cure for the cocktail flu is a bloody mary with enough spice to give those queasies a kick in the ass. Select your favorite vodka, say how spicy you want it, and you'll be served a superior beverage with a heaping dose of sympathy. And the price is right ($1.99 for well; $4.49 for Grey Goose) for someone who spent Saturday night buying scores of drinks, yet didn't score one phone number.

It's Sunday night and you're still suffering from a wicked hangover. You need food, water, and a little hair of the dog. The best cure for the cocktail flu is a bloody mary with enough spice to give those queasies a kick in the ass. Select your favorite vodka, say how spicy you want it, and you'll be served a superior beverage with a heaping dose of sympathy. And the price is right ($1.99 for well; $4.49 for Grey Goose) for someone who spent Saturday night buying scores of drinks, yet didn't score one phone number.

The American Legion Harvey W. Seeds Post 29
There's something eerie about American Legion Post No. 29 at night. The bar, a huge sunken square that could probably fit 60 people, is almost always empty. The comfortable couches, unused. The pool table and dart board, dormant. Often the only person in the place is the bartender, watching the big-screen TV set alone. This makes sense only in Miami, where people wait in line to get into swanky clubs with overpriced drinks rather than chill at an inexpensive watering hole like the Legion. For instance, during happy hour at the American Legion (5:00 to 9:00 p.m. every weekday), six dollars gets you two bottles of Bud and a shot of Jack. At most SoBe spots, you're lucky if six bucks gets you a Red Stripe and a condescending sneer from the bartender.

There's something eerie about American Legion Post No. 29 at night. The bar, a huge sunken square that could probably fit 60 people, is almost always empty. The comfortable couches, unused. The pool table and dart board, dormant. Often the only person in the place is the bartender, watching the big-screen TV set alone. This makes sense only in Miami, where people wait in line to get into swanky clubs with overpriced drinks rather than chill at an inexpensive watering hole like the Legion. For instance, during happy hour at the American Legion (5:00 to 9:00 p.m. every weekday), six dollars gets you two bottles of Bud and a shot of Jack. At most SoBe spots, you're lucky if six bucks gets you a Red Stripe and a condescending sneer from the bartender.

Duffy's Tavern
Walking into Duffy's Tavern is like entering some kind of marvelous Twilight Zone, where the whole place seems able to transform, to transcend time and space, according to the whims of the computerized jukebox that rests unobtrusively against a wall near the bar. According to owner Wayne Russell, the box is stocked with about 2000 songs. "Some I like, some I don't like. But mostly rock," he explains. An obscure track from Metallica's thrash classic Kill 'Em All segues into a disconcertingly jaunty ode to the Emerald Isle, "Irish Jaunting Car," by Leo McCaffrey. The regulars don't bat an eye, and looking around at the Irish collectibles -- the ceaseless digital countdown to St. Patrick's Day, the Guinness brewerania, and shillelaghs (knobby Irish walking sticks dangling from the ceiling amid ornate steins and ancient beer bottles) -- the jig feels oddly appropriate. After a moment of rest -- chatter, the clink of glasses, and the shouting of sports announcers from twenty TV sets filling the void -- the opening strains of Led Zeppelin's "Goin' to California" twinkle in the background. The bartender brings you another ale, the customers continue on their individual journeys to pleasant intoxication, and Zeppelin flows into Aretha Franklin's shimmering soul song "Ain't No Way." Way.

Readers´ Choice: Fox´s Sherron Inn

Walking into Duffy's Tavern is like entering some kind of marvelous Twilight Zone, where the whole place seems able to transform, to transcend time and space, according to the whims of the computerized jukebox that rests unobtrusively against a wall near the bar. According to owner Wayne Russell, the box is stocked with about 2000 songs. "Some I like, some I don't like. But mostly rock," he explains. An obscure track from Metallica's thrash classic Kill 'Em All segues into a disconcertingly jaunty ode to the Emerald Isle, "Irish Jaunting Car," by Leo McCaffrey. The regulars don't bat an eye, and looking around at the Irish collectibles -- the ceaseless digital countdown to St. Patrick's Day, the Guinness brewerania, and shillelaghs (knobby Irish walking sticks dangling from the ceiling amid ornate steins and ancient beer bottles) -- the jig feels oddly appropriate. After a moment of rest -- chatter, the clink of glasses, and the shouting of sports announcers from twenty TV sets filling the void -- the opening strains of Led Zeppelin's "Goin' to California" twinkle in the background. The bartender brings you another ale, the customers continue on their individual journeys to pleasant intoxication, and Zeppelin flows into Aretha Franklin's shimmering soul song "Ain't No Way." Way.

Readers´ Choice: Fox´s Sherron Inn

Keg South of Homestead
From the truly pickled to neighborhood families, denizens of the southern stretch from Naranja to Homestead partake in pitchers and wings and fresh fish fillets daily at Keg South. The bar serves exclusively beer and wine, and the most exotic brew on tap is Heineken, but all mugs of beer cost only two dollars. The place can get crowded on weekends and at dinnertime, a sure sign they're doing something right in the kitchen (food comes nestled in wax paper inside plastic baskets -- try the fried green tomato appetizer for five dollars or the excellent seven-dollar burger platters). Regular old-timers sit at the bar and on wood benches every afternoon, some of them shooting pool and playing sad old country songs on the jukebox.

Readers´ Choice: Fox´s Sherron Inn

From the truly pickled to neighborhood families, denizens of the southern stretch from Naranja to Homestead partake in pitchers and wings and fresh fish fillets daily at Keg South. The bar serves exclusively beer and wine, and the most exotic brew on tap is Heineken, but all mugs of beer cost only two dollars. The place can get crowded on weekends and at dinnertime, a sure sign they're doing something right in the kitchen (food comes nestled in wax paper inside plastic baskets -- try the fried green tomato appetizer for five dollars or the excellent seven-dollar burger platters). Regular old-timers sit at the bar and on wood benches every afternoon, some of them shooting pool and playing sad old country songs on the jukebox.

Readers´ Choice: Fox´s Sherron Inn

The Bar
The Bar is the best of both bar worlds. Dark and cool even at midday and absolutely shadowed at night, it's a great place to drown sorrow or joy in a shot glass of bourbon accompanied by one of the Bar's many boutique beers. But Giralda Avenue is in Coral Gables, after all, and if you're going to have an establishment there, you might as well give the rich folk something to throw their cash at. The Bar's food is bar food, but not of the microwaved-mozzarella-stick variety. It is inexpensive enough for the budget-conscious drinker and fine enough for the discerning bourgeois palate. Chicken tenders, for instance, are strips of chicken breast dipped in a homemade spicy breading and deep fried until crisp. They taste a lot like homemade fried chicken and absolutely nothing like the warmed-over, limp fingers that most bars serve, and you get a plateful (between four and six strips usually) for six bucks. The six-dollar burgers are a steal as well -- juicy lumps of high-quality meat actually cooked to order (as opposed to many bars, where the waitress politely asks how you'd like your burger cooked and returns with something akin to a blackened-carbon sandwich) and dressed any way you like. The eight-dollar steak sandwich -- a healthy slab of grilled London broil topped with melted provolone on a hunk of French bread -- couldn't be better. The menu is pretty extensive, with plenty of sandwich and salad options and the requisite bar-food appetizers, all of them better than you're likely to find at your neighborhood watering hole.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®