After spending two and a half months designing and building the bar 28 Newsstand, it seems a shame that the speakeasy is closing its doors after only five months in business, but Yoyi, one of the two brothers behind the establishment, says impermanence was always part of the plan. "We're a pop-up. We knew we had the space only for a limited time. As we tear it down, we won't be sad. We feel grateful and blessed that Miami embraced us and accepted everything we've done."
What they did was create a unique atmosphere. 28 Newsstand was part pop-up, part speakeasy. Opened on the site that once housed Railroad Blues and PS 14, Newsstand's exterior was disguised as, well, a newsstand. Central to the bar's success, Yoyi says, was the musical performances that graced its stage. "A lot of local musicians hang out here, and they'll just jump onstage. We decided because of that this last week will be very musical."
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They started the closing festivities last Thursday night with an EP-release party for MC Jumanji and followed that Saturday night with a show by the Spam AllStars. This final week, 28 Newsstand will be open Tuesday through Saturday, from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. with a bevy of musicians. The only acts and times Yoyi would guarantee was that the bohemian Cuban hip-hop act Haka will play Friday, and Saturday night, DJ Zea will be visiting from Las Vegas to spin. But he would not specify when exactly acts like Kidtronic, OgeeE, Killa Kas, Tom Laroc, Chato!, and Two Hats would perform. "We're a newsstand, so you got to check the daily paper — which is our Instagram account (@28Newsstand) — to see who's going on every night."
After they serve their last drink at this location, Yoyi and his brother Frizko are taking their pop-up concept on the road. "We're going to go up to Manhattan and finalize a deal on a spot. Then we're going to pack everything up into a U-Haul and start up a Newsstand in New York City." That does not mean Miamians will have to book a plane ticket to get their Newsstand fix. "We'll set up another pop-up at a gallery down here for a week later this year," Yoyi says.
Music and humans aside, Frizko says his favorite part of running 28 Newsstand was the tiki cups shaped like parrots, panda bears, snowmen, and marlins they would serve their specialty drinks in. "You should have seen the smiles on people's faces when they found out they could take the cups home with them."
28 Newsstand, 28 NE 14th St., Miami. For information and set times on this week's lineup, check 28 Newsstand's Instagram daily.