VMidtown
Mystery novel writer and totally gay lady Rita Mae Brown once said, "My lesbianism is an act of Christian charity. All those women are out there praying for a man, and I'm giving them my share." If she arrived at Vlada during one of the bar's monthly girl parties, she would earn some serious high-fives. That's because the 1-year-old venue is one of the few places in the city of Miami that features a regular lesbian event. (Dates fluctuate.) It boasts an ice bar and an — we'll call it "urban" — outdoor lounge for smokers. Girls varying in age, race, and style dance to pop, hip-hop, salsa, and electro depending on the DJ. On nearly every other night of the month, you'll find an intimate crowd of gay men from the neighborhood. It's open until 3 a.m. seven days a week.
Twist
E.M.
If Mova were an ad in the men-for-men section of Craigslist, it would read, "Young, Sean Cody type casually seeking late night of carousing and heavy petting." At the lounge, just off Lincoln Road, the crowd that revolves around the oval-shaped bar skews young. The place has slowed the exodus of young gays to Fort Lauderdale. Mova stands apart from the decades-old haunts catering to crowds that still remember the decadent foam parties of the '90s. It's classy, wholesome, and as beautifully lit as a Zac Efron musical. The only leather you're likely to see here is on the upholstered love seats. Even the drinks are twinky: They're named things like "elderflower fizz," "treetini," and "açaí breeze." On Wednesday, college night, vodka cocktails are $3 all night long. Served by strapping bartenders as pretty as the Jonas Brothers, these cocktails are deceptively light. And the fizz ($15) is the kind of libation that loosens things up. Plus from 3 to 9 p.m. daily, all drinks are half-off. But the best thing about Mova is that it's located right in front of the Frieze, the 24-hour ice-cream shop where you can drown your sorrows in food if you haven't hooked up with anyone by the end of the night.
When Aaron Bondaroff and Al Moran of the O.H.W.O.W. gallery are behind the scenes of anything, you can expect some catalyzing creativity. The duo/owners came up with the concept for Bar, where almost every 90 days, a new artist transforms the interior. And we don't mean a simple paint job; the walls become murals and full-blown collages. An artist named Freegums was the first to cover the place with doodles one might find in a composition notebook. Then Todd "Reas" James came in with his signature pink naked ladies and bright, whimsical characters. Bar's goal is to keep the process organic, never announcing the next artist too far in advance and unveiling each new installation during the Monday-night party Locals Only.
Electric Pickle
Courtesy of Electric Pickle
When Tomas Ceddia (Aquabooty) and Will Renuart (Boogie) took over the former Circa 28 space, we knew house music would be a cornerstone of whatever they had planned for the venue. Later, when the name was revealed — Electric Pickle — it left us wondering if there was some kind of joke. It wasn't. Together they have made sure the Pickle takes its music — the dance variety in particular — very seriously. Alexander Technique, M.A.N.D.Y., dOP, Wolf + Lamb, Marques Wyatt, In Flagranti, Seth Troxler, Tony Rohr, Junior Sanchez, and others have given the lounge's Dynacord system a workout. The downstairs area is perfect for the chill-out lounge experience, while the upstairs usually turns into an all-out dance riot. Let's not forget about the back lot, perfect for those cool Miami winters and habitual day parties. The best thing about the Pickle is that you won't be judged based on your looks or gender. As long as you're 21 and pay the cover charge (or somehow put your name on the guest list), you're in. And though Saturday's Poplife party has moved on, we don't expect things to slow down here.
Club Space
Karli Evans
It's 5 o'clock Sunday morning — closing time for most nightclubs in Miami. But you want to keep the party going. You are totally juiced, and your honey is looking fine. Where can your Affliction-loving, sunglasses-at-night-wearing self keep the tunes pumpin', bro? Space, of course. Located at the north end of downtown Miami in just about the coolest, most urban neighborhood anywhere south of Manhattan, Space is everything to the party set. So keep your head up high, bro, and make sure not to leave the club without your honey by your side. Nuff said.
In Miami's balkanized music world, every neighborhood has its sovereign genre. Downtown is hipsterdom, Kendall owns Muzak, and South Beach is the land of house. In Little Havana, salsa holds sway. Hoy Como Ayer, the hole-in-the-wall cabaret on Calle Ocho, is the bedrock of this estate. Its walls are lined with portraits of the icons of Cuba's musical heyday: Celia Cruz, Benny More, Arturo Sandoval. But on Wednesday nights, Oscar G, one of the headlining DJs at Park West bacchanal Space, enters the smoky inner sanctum. For the past year, he has hosted a dance party here called Tropicasa that would spook the regular clientele of viejitos in crisp white guayaberas if it weren't so damn funky. The DJ doesn't so much spin club house as remix it live with traditional guaguanco and Afro-Cuban sounds. He borrows a bass line from one song, a drum loop from another, a vocal sample from a third, and plays it over a rolling house beat while El Chino Dreadlion, former vocalist for cool-kid band Yerba Buena, sings and a drummer plays the timbales. While Oscar G at Space might set you back a 20, cover here is just seven bucks, and a Presidente beer only five. For two hours, the musical jambalaya throbs at an unrelenting pace, shaking the joint so hard the portraits on the walls vibrate like tiny gongs. Doors open at 10 and close at 3 a.m.
OHWOW
Courtesy of O.H.W.O.W.
WMC 2009. Allapattah. O.H.W.O.W. Mad Decent. TurntableLab. Trouble & Bass. IHEARTCOMIX. Hamburger Eyes. Surprise guest Lil Jon. Ten hours of nonstop music. Free booze, and when that ran out, there was cheap booze at the bodega across the street. Best. Party. Ever.
Coco De Ville
Our incarnation of L.A.'s celebrity hangout has emerged as South Beach's leading elitist lounge. Located in the lobby of the Gansevoort, the lavish baroque-style parlor with plush banquettes and gold, leafy lighting is inspired by a fictional woman named Coco de Ville, who is so elusive and alluring that few men, or ladies for that matter, have been able to claim her affection. In fact, you better be wearing Barneys duds and trailing six or seven skinny models if you expect to get into Coco's inner sanctum. But once you do, you'll enter a whimsical lounge where cocktails such as Coco's "cotton candy" (a combination of Tu Ku Soju Vodka, citrus liqueur, and lime shaken and poured into a tumbler) are sure to rev up your Dionysian urges. Coco is also home to Tuesday-night party Favela Chic, a gathering of beautiful South Beach people shaking to the sounds of DJ Ross One and his crew of Brazilian-samba-pop-music mash-up DJs.
Jazid
DJ sets are the new black. They're cool. From Björn Yttling to Animal Collective to Passion Pit, everyone seems to be getting in on the act, shedding the conventions of their normal processes and venturing in new directions. The boys from one of Miami's greatest musical institutions, Locos por Juana, are no different. Unless, of course, you count the fact that their DJ set — generally performed the first and last Wednesday of the month under the name Afro Kumbe — blends traditional Colombian sounds with electronica. It's an orgy of sound anytime Afro Kumbe throws down a set. Cumbia dry-humps house. Champeta 69s with techno. Reggae invites ambient to perform dogs in the bathtub (if you don't know, don't ask). And the frenzied onstage presence that fans expect of Locos is represented in spades.
Dear Tamara,Ever since the first time I laid eyes on you, I knew one day the celestial gods would bring us together. Every time you twist a knob or scratch a record, it's as if you are gently caressing my body with your skill and knowledge. We become one on the dance floor; I hope someday we can consummate our love to the bass-heavy track of your choice. I have the Overthrow — the nightlife collective founded by Alexis Mincolla and Samuel Baum — to thank for finally persuading you to play more local gigs on the regular. Now your hometown has discovered what people in far-flung areas such as Turkey and Mexico already know: You are beyond awesome behind the decks.Love,Your #1 Fan

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®