Five Miami Music Venues That Closed Too Soon

Miami's music scene continues to grow and expand, with new venues opening and big-name artists making their South Florida debuts relatively regularly. But plenty of times through the years, local longtime music lovers' hearts have been broken when their favorite stages have shuttered for good. This town might not have always been a music mecca, but it's always had lovable spots where fans found community. Cheers to these Miami music venues — gone but never forgotten.
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Photo by Karli Evans
Heart. In 2015, downtown Miami was blessed with the opening of Heart. Operating in the former Nocturnal space, the club spent three years giving locals FOMO by hosting, for instance, a Halloween soiree with Gesaffelstein, Valentine's Day with Seth Troxler, and tons of late-night sets from Ibiza-level heavy-hitters. Creating healthy competition for Space, Heart often delivered a varying array of techno and house mainstays playing anywhere from six to 12 hours. Remember that legendary 25-hour set by Joseph Capriati? Or that 40-hour party during Art Basel 2016 when icons such as Aphrohead (AKA Felix da Housecat), the Martinez Brothers, Erick Morillo, Lauren Lake, Lee Foss, and Mike Servito played nonstop? Heart fought the good fight, but the club was unceremoniously killed in the city’s war with venues. Condo developers, grumpy residents, and the City of Miami united to break our Heart this past March right after Miami Music Week.
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Photo by Alex Markow
Tobacco Road. The iconic bar made it 102 years at its Brickell location, but even a legacy of that magnitude couldn’t survive Miami's penchant for killing things that locals love. The bar's liquor license was issued in November 1912 (though records show the building was erected in 1915), and during the Prohibition years, Tobacco Road was shut down briefly at times for running afoul of Johnny Law. In later years, the once-infamous speakeasy upstairs became one of Miami’s favorite stages for local acts, incredibly drawing an estimated 4,000 fans on closing night. Sadly, the venue was shuttered after the property was purchased for a cool $12.5 million. Though Tobacco Road is gone, rumors of its grandeur have been mostly unexaggerated.