LIV
Courtesy of LIV
Conceived in February 2009 by downtown revelers Poplife and Overthrow, Wednesday night's Dirty Hairy has become the best reason to go to work hung over Thursday morning. And while the pairing might seem odd — a hipster dance party in Miami Beach's poshest nightclub — it seems to have worked. There are typical South Beach elements: emphasis on bottle service, expensive drinks, and a cover charge based on gender and looks. Still, Dirty Hairy is a downtown party at heart. Acts such as the Juan Maclean, Sneaky Sound System, the Misshapes, Amanda Blank, Kid Sister, MSTRKRFT, Uncle Luke, Flosstradamus, Dan Black, Joaquin Phoenix, Calvin Harris, and many others have performed under LIV's domed roof. Though Overthrow has departed from this partnership, the party shows no signs of slowing.
The Vagabond
Thursdays belong to hip-hop, bass, and selected cheese at the Vagabond, where the welcoming yet discerning Shake crew rules with packed dance parties. But for all the crowd-pleasing of the hands-in-the-air bar room, once a month the main room turns a whole lot darker with Get Low, Shake's monthly Thursday-night party-within-a-party devoted to dubstep. While devotees of the more aggressive electronic music style had been getting their wall-rattling groove at scattered locales, Get Low, with the help of local scene pied piper Juan BassHead, gave them a fixed spot to congregate. With BassHead and the Shake crew's help, Get Low has introduced Miami to some of the world's rising dubstep stars and almost single-handedly helped create a dubstep scene. Considering the number of those artists who returned to Miami to rule the roost at Winter Music Conference this year, Get Low has clearly remained one step ahead.
Sundays might be a day of rest and reflection for the general population, but promoter Alexis Mincolla and friends aren't exactly holy rollers. His devotees are among the most dedicated night crawlers. So in early 2009, Mincolla begat Black Sunday at Bella Rose, a weekly party that seemed to start as more-or-less standard electro-hipster fare and morphed into something much more darkly decadent. As time went on, each happening took on performance-art proportions, with Mincolla and company staging elaborate fake murders of various scene personalities, and documenting the schadenfreude and bloody chaos in copious photos. The faux-crime-scene documentation would then be displayed in little flipbook-style videos that were so realistic and provocative they were temporarily banned from Facebook. Well, who said nightlife was supposed to be conservative?Still, something so in-your-face is unlikely to last long, and although there was no big implosion for Black Sunday, it disappeared. Several key figures left Miami, with Mincolla heading to the Big Apple to helm a new health-drink project, Prometheus Springs. There has been a happy reincarnation, though. Mincolla's minions have organized into a collective now known as the Overthrow, whose creative chaos can't be contained by one lousy little school night.

Best Nightclub to Die in the Past Year

Bella Rose

The demise of Bella Rose is still lamented by South Beach locals who patronized the glam hole-in-the-Beach for the 16 months it was open. Not only was the scene fresh and unpretentious, but also the drinks were reasonable and there was no VIP crapola. While co-owner Keith Paciello has been in nightlife seemingly forever (yes, his brother is notorious club king Chris Paciello), business partner Alfred Spellman has an interesting pedigree as a producer of films such as Cocaine Cowboys and The U. Together, the handsome duo reinvigorated nightlife on the Beach with Bella Rose's anything-goes atmosphere. Celebrities such as Jared Leto, Josh Hartnett, Kirsten Dunst, Calvin Klein, and Mary-Kate Olsen made low-key, late-night appearances at the 1,500-square-foot space on 16th Street. And the weekly Black Sunday parties, featuring Alexis Mincolla and crew staging fake crimes, garnered a rabid following. (Admit it: You gleefully watched the jittery postmortem video every Monday morning.) Unfortunately, the economic downturn done in this after-hours joint. It's hard to make the rent when hipster patrons are drinking beer only between 2 and 5 a.m. Since Bella Rose closed last August, Spellman has returned to filmmaking (he's working on a TV version of Cocaine Cowboys with Michael Bay and Jerry Bruckheimer), while Paciello can be found smiling sardonically as he mans the door at RokBar. It's not all bad news, though: The best friends are looking for another space to resurrect the funky times.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®