Best Ladies' Night 2017 | Boatyard | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Miami | Miami New Times
Courtesy of TRP Restaurant Group

What's better than ladies' night at a waterfront bar? Ladies' night on a boat. And that's what you get at the all-new Boatyard in Fort Lauderdale, where an exceptionally awesome evening de la mujer goes down every Thursday from 7 to 10 p.m. Those of the female persuasion drink free at any one of the restaurant's three bars, including an outdoor fire-pit lounge area. Each bar offers a wide selection of complimentary bubbly, cocktails, house wine, and domestic beer. A ladies-only happy hour begins at 4 p.m., when all drinks, including wine by the glass and specialty cocktails, are half off. Get there early, and you and your girls can snag a spot on one of Boatyard's complimentary champagne cruises on the Intracoastal, which depart hourly at 7:15, 8:15, and 9:15 p.m. Onboard, you can sip free champagne, house liquor, house wine, and domestic beer. Reservations for the boat rides, which hold ten passengers, are first come, first served.

Courtesy of World Red Eye

The era of the traditional VIP room is over. Everyone is VIP these days. Just stand next to any velvet rope in South Beach, and sure enough, you'll hear someone scream, "Don't you know who I am?" after being denied entry. So what do you do when everyone feels like a special snowflake? You make your entire club one big VIP section. That's exactly what Ora Nightclub did when it took over the former Adore space at the Boulan South Beach. The 10,000-square-foot space is decorated like a megaclub but feels intimate anyway. Upstairs you'll find the Anti-Social Room, a sort of club within a club that offers well-made cocktails and a decibel level that allows you to have a conversation with your fellow VIPs. Recently, nightlife heavyweights Emi Guerra and Louis Diaz joined the Ora team, so the programming, which veers toward house music, is expected to ramp up throughout the year. However, be warned: At the door, Ora is by no means egalitarian. If you don't look the part or your group's gender balance is out of whack, you'll probably encounter roadblocks. But isn't trying to get in half the fun?

Courtesy of Klangbox.FM

Staying up until an ungodly hour to see your favorite DJ spin is something you can handle only once in a while. Sometimes you just want to get home at a decent hour and wake up without a hangover. Enter Vamos a la Playa: Laura (of Miami) and Patrick Walsh's late-afternoon-until-early-evening party at Gramps. The Klangbox.FM crew throws the party on select Sundays, because weekly parties are so passé these days. Acts that have appeared so far include In Flagranti, Palmbomen II, Jacques Renault, and King Britt. Plus, there's no cover, which means you can put that money toward your bar tab. And because the party wraps up around midnight, you can still make it to work Monday and spend your day dreaming about the next time Klangbox.FM lures you out for a fun night.

Courtesy of Alan T

If you've been around Miami's club scene, you know Alan T. He's flamboyant, loud, aggressive, charming, and funny all at the same time. He has to be. He deals with throngs of people trying to get into some of the city's brightest hot spots. He has to hear, "But I know so-and-so, and he told me I was on the list!" about a hundred times every night. So you can't blame him for being curt with patrons. However, unlike the French doormen that litter Miami Beach's nightclubs, Alan T puts on a show, sometimes with a loudspeaker to amplify the insults he throws at people. Currently, he works for Space on Saturdays, but he's been around, working the doors for spots such as Pawn Shop Lounge and Nocturnal. In addition to being a doorman, he's also a house-music vocalist (he has the Discogs page to prove it) and holds a master's in architecture from Columbia University. He's basically a nightlife renaissance man. Still, Alan T's greatest talent is making the door at Space more interesting.

Photo by Emanuele D'Angelo

Men tend to dominate the nightlife game in Miami. It's not that there aren't plenty of women who are involved. It's just that reporters — including some at this paper — can be a bit myopic when it comes to the women playing the game well. Nobody — man or woman — plays it better than PL0T founder Becks Lange. Her parties have long been the talk of the town, but she has really found her groove in the past few years thanks to stellar events such as the yearly Life and Death bash during Art Basel. And because Lange isn't necessarily beholden to one venue, PL0T parties float around to places like the Electric Pickle, Trade, 1306, and Bardot. (That being said, if you want to catch one of PL0T's parties, the Pickle seems to host them with some regularity.) She and her cohort of nightlife denizens are free to mold the events to their vision. They book some high-caliber underground dance acts like Nina Kraviz, DJ Tennis, and Âme. Lange doesn't do your average EDM fare and instead wants to expose Miami to acts that are bringing something different to the table. Miami is lucky to have her.

Karaoke might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the name Sing Sing. But the place is based on the hugely popular establishments in Japan that include multiple private rooms, each equipped with a karaoke player and microphones. At its flagship in Miami and two locations in New York, Sing Sing provides a public space, complete with a small stage in the corner, for budding sopranos or tenors walking in off the street. But the real value is in the private rooms. Standard room rates run about $8 per person for a space that accommodates ten to 12 people. Happy-hour pricing, from opening till 8 p.m., is about $4 per person. Plus, VIP rooms offer space for up to 22 people and are ideal for birthday and wedding parties. Sing Sing is open Monday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m., Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m., and Sunday from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. The music catalog is regularly updated and about as international as Miami, with songs in Chinese, Russian, Spanish, and English. Though, yes, it's necessary to buy a drink in order to sing in the public space, that's sort of the point, isn't it? Plus, you never know who you might run into. In 2014, none other than Beyoncé and Kelly Rowland crashed a karaoke set of a Destiny's Child song by a pair of very surprised customers. This place is all about being a star for a night.

Readers' choice: Ricky's South Beach

courtesy of the Rhythm Foundation

Actually, finding single men isn't the difficult part. They're everywhere! They're sitting around the table at every poker game, chugging Bud Light at every sports bar in town, and ogling bikinis on South Beach every weekend. But those aren't the kind of single fellas you're looking for. You want a man who wants to spend the night paying attention to you and — gasp — who is willing to try something new. You'll find him every second Thursday of the month at the North Beach Bandshell, at Dance Band Night, an entirely free event (with an option to donate) put on by the Rhythm Foundation. The event comes in two parts: At 7 p.m., experts give lessons in every type of dance you might want to try in Miami, including salsa, swing, samba, and konpa. There is also a happy hour, when you can partake of a little liquid social lubrication to loosen things up. Then, at 8 p.m., you can put the moves you just learned to use with a concert from a killer live act such as Rose Max Samba Band or Batuke Samba Funk. If you can't find romance here — with stars in the sky, music in the air, and the beach only steps away — you might as well give up.

Photo by Cris Ascunce / Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau

We love bars. We spend far too much of our lives in bars. Bars rock. But bars are not the optimal place to make a love connection. Just take a look around. You can barely see in the dim light — how will you know if you're even really attracted to the woman you just met over overpriced tequila shots? And forget about intelligent conversation with that '80s rock blasting. There are better options, amigo, such as the volleyball courts at Lummus Park in South Beach. On these sandy courts, which are free and open to the public just off Ocean Drive, strangers of both sexes meet to bump, set, and serve in a gentle sea breeze. Under the bright sun, you'll have plenty of time to see how your potential romantic partner operates under pressure, how much blame she is willing to assign and accept after a botched point, and — yes, OK — how she looks in a swimsuit. And, hey, if it doesn't work out for you on the volleyball courts, there are plenty of bars a few steps away to drink away the failure. Just don't expect to find a good date over that whiskey.

Phillip Pessar via Flickr

Tired of scrolling through a seemingly endless stream of bros in manks (that's male tank tops, obviously) on Tinder? Done with the kind of dudes who text you only past 10 p.m.? Head to the Olympia Theater the second Tuesday of the month for the Moth's Miami StorySlam, where for $10 you can listen to true stories told live and sip cocktails for a few extra bucks. With open-mike topics touching on everything from love to loss, it's safe to bet the audience is packed with emotionally intelligent men — you know, the type who read books and tune into NPR. Catch eyes with one of them under the softly lit chandeliers of the historic, Mediterranean-inspired theater, and you just might have the perfect story to someday tell your smarty-pants kids.

When you hear Lutze Segu speak about the Femme Agenda's coalition, you might feel like a high-speed train just rushed by about three inches from your face. That's because the passion and expertise of Segu, who is the Miami Workers Center's gender justice organizer, are palpable — and are exactly what make this intersectional-feminist, grassroots committee the radical, inclusive, and sorely needed space South Florida needs. The Femme Agenda advocates for reproductive justice and adequate sex education in Miami-Dade, a domestic workers' bill of rights, and affordable housing and living wages for the women most affected by poverty and discrimination. Femme Saturdays is a space open to anyone in South Florida interested in learning more about social justice and allyship and has included everyone from seasoned black, indigenous, and trans activists to Pinecrest soccer moms foraying into sociopolitical activism. Looking to impress these brilliant femmes who gather in the Workers Center's MiMo District office? Take a few minutes to brush up on your bell hooks and Angela Davis before popping in. After all, if it's fiercely intelligent beauties you're after, you sure as hell should be willing to fight for their equality and access to opportunity.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®