Best Practice Space 2012 | Destroyio House | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Miami | Miami New Times

If your girlfriend, parents, or neighbors think your music sucks and they don't ever want to hear one more note of it, it's time to find your band a practice space. You know, a place where you can turn your amp to 11 and rock out at 3 in the morning without some whiny, soulless bastard crying about the noise. But unless your dad owns a warehouse in an industrial part of Hialeah, you probably don't have that opportunity. Well, now you do. Destroyio House is a roughly 1,000-square-foot air-conditioned warehouse space with tube amps, vocal mikes, a PA, drum gear, industrial fans, and an ice-cold minifridge where punk-rock impresario Fabio Destroyio rents out space for bands to practice music. For just $25 for two hours and $10 each hour after that, you can play any type of music you want, as loud as you want, whenever you want, for as long as you want. That means four people can jam for four hours and pay just about $11 each. When your band is ready, he'll book you a show at Churchill's, and you can use the door money to book more time to practice. You'll find a like-minded community of musicians there already, so you can make new friends, and when your bandmates become whiny, soulless bastards, you can join another group.

Photo courtesy of Fox's Lounge

Since 1946, Fox's Sherron Inn has been serving South Miami with shots, suds, steaks, good times, and jukebox music. But like cigarette vending machines and pay-as-you-go porno peep shows, the classic juke — a partially automated, coin-operated, 400-pound music-playing device with a library of only about 200 songs — is an anachronistic and impractical piece of technology that's slowly but surely disappearing from the American cultural landscape. Our nation's bars, diners, pizza joints, laundromats, and soda-pop shops are getting rid of their jukeboxes at an epidemic rate. And the replacements are satellite radio, iPods on shuffle, and touch-screen MP3 selectors that look like knockoff ATMs from some defunct factory in Taiwan. But thankfully, the Sherron Inn hasn't given up on its enormous, old, occasionally broken music machine. So fill your pockets with loose change, feed Fox's box a few quarters, and pick 119, 142, and 206.

Logan Fazio

You think pool halls and you envision dark, smoky rooms filled with tables covered by worn-out green felt. And until early January 2012, that was probably true. Since then, Chalk Ping Pong & Billiards Lounge has proven the pool hall can also be a sexy place where beautiful people lacking leather vests and tramp stamps can play together. Chalk also has seven Ping-Pong tables in addition to five pool tables, two expansive bars, and VIP rooms. Don't want to miss the game? Don't worry — each bar has a pair of flat-screen TV sets hanging overhead. Prices for a game vary based on the time. Early birds (7 to 9 p.m.) can enjoy a 30-minute game of table tennis or pool for $8. The rate goes up to $10 after that but drops to $5 from 3 to 5 a.m. For pool sharks, Chalk also offers memberships for $50 a month or $500 annually. And a fair warning: Though Chalk is a sexier, South Beach version of the pool hall, it hasn't inherited the Beach's mantra of table reservations, which means waits on the weekends for pool or Ping-Pong at peak hours can be long. That being said, cozy up to the bar and talk to the friendly bartenders while you wait for your name to be called.

There is no denying South Beach was abuzz with the news that Chris Paciello would be returning to the scene with a new project. After years as a guest in federal prison, he found a very different South Beach than the one he encountered in the 1990s. Sure, South Beach is just as vain as it was back then. But the free-spirit, bohemian attitude has been replaced by Vegas-like aspirations of hospitality and entertainment. But Paciello has brought back the old days at FDR at Delano, the Florida Room's former digs. This is a low-light, cavernous space filled with richly textured, expensive-looking décor and pricey drinks. Try one of the signature cocktails for $20 — seriously worth the price — such as the New Deal, made with Bulleit bourbon, peach purée, and ginger beer. Or check out the Eleanor (notice a pattern?), made with Plymouth gin, muddled strawberries, and lemon juice. Cocktails aside, it's what FDR represents that really has us calling it Miami's number one: a return to the ultra-VIP glamour that first put South Beach on the map. Which means just trying to get across the velvet ropes is half the fun.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®