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Do Not Sit, the Little Nightclub That Could, Celebrates Three Years

It was 2006, and Behrouz had just moved to Miami. The San Francisco-raised DJ settled on the East Coast to ease constant travel to residencies around the world. He'd always loved this city's crowds, whether it was Winter Music Conference or otherwise. On this night, he was set to play at Suite Lounge (a club that's since closed to become Trade).

He walked in to soundcheck and found couches all over the floor. “Are you going to move these?” he asked the manager. “Oh no, we sell more liquor when they sit on the couches,” he replied. “But where do the people dance?” Behrouz inquired. “When we sell more bottles, we don't need a dance floor,” was the manager's explanation.

That struck a nerve with the DJ, and when he opened his own club seven years later, he named it Do Not Sit on the Furniture; a cheeky dig at South Beach's bottle-service culture.

“This is a place you come to dance,” Behrouz says, and as it turns out, the people needed it. Do Not Sit celebrates its third anniversary Friday, June 8, with a special double-header extravaganza. 

Three years may not sound like much, but for a SoBe establishment, it's damn-near a lifetime, and don't Behrouz and his wife and partner Megan Nazari know it. Do Not Sit hasn't always been easy. Our music scene isn't so communal as what they're used to in San Francisco. They've taken slack from competition, worked with a transient crowd, and made their own stars with a roster of local residents and international up-and-comers. They've brought massive DJs from all over the world to play to a small crowd every Friday and Saturday night. It's not exactly a formula for millions, but it's never been about the money.
“This was only to give something to Miami,” Behrouz says. “I felt like those early years that I lived here, on weekdays like Wednesday or Thursday, if I wanted to go somewhere on Miami Beach, there was hardly any place to go out. I just added 12 more hours a day to my life – my wife and my life.”

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And it's a good thing he did. Do Not Sit is not the world's biggest club in the literal and financial sense, but it's truly a labor of love. It's a mom and pop production — it's just that pop is a critically-acclaimed DJ and mom is a successful law practitioner. Any given night, you'll find Megan behind the bar making drinks and chatting up customers, just as you'll find Behrouz on the dance floor or behind the decks himself. In daylight hours, both of them can be found tending to the shark-shaped disco ball, hanging the latest bohemian scarf or flowers as decoration.

They've been to Burning Man every year for the past decade, and they incorporate that philosophy of freedom and creativity to create a love-filled room each weekend. Sometimes they begin nights with group meditations in the back courtyard or make time for a commencement yoga session.

“It's all smiles and good energy,” Nazari says. “When you walk in to Do Not Sit for the first time and you see the love on the dance floor, it takes you to another dimension. We've moved beyond the club experience, and we're really giving people something different. It's our little magical house.”

Do Not Sit on the Furniture 3-Year Anniversary with Nu and Behrouz. 10 p.m. Friday, July 8,  at Do Not Sit on the Furniture, 423 16th St., Miami Beach; 510-551-5067; facebook.com/DoNotSit. The party starts with a group meditation at 10 p.m. Tickets cost $20 to $30 via residentadvisor.com

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