Will Renuart's voice cracks slightly as he thinks about the time and energy he's put into the Electric Pickle over the past decade.
"It's dawned on me now coming here to meet with you," Renuart says while sitting down at a Wynwood café.
That's because at the end of June, the Pickle, as locals affectionally call it, will cease to exist after its ten-year lease expires. Wynwood's rising real-estate prices mean a new lease would raise the nightclub's rent beyond profitability.
"When we opened [in 2009], we were really the only game in Wynwood," Renuart says. "There weren't even any of the businesses you see today. My friends were scared to come to the venue — I had two friends held up with shotguns. Now you couldn't get me to move out of here any faster. There are tourist buses being dropped off in the neighborhood. We are kind of out of our element now."
Looking at Wynwood today, you'd think all the bars have been there forever. But the Pickle holds the record for the longest-running among them. It's closest rivals are Cafeina, which opened in 2010; Wood Tavern, which debuted in 2011; and Gramps, which premiered in 2012 — all of which continue to operate but don't replicate the Pickle's dance-club vibe.
For such a small spot, the Pickle punches well above its weight thanks to
"My mother went to France and dined at a Michelin-starred restaurant, and the server said, 'Oh, you're from Miami? I used to live there. Do you know this place called the Electric Pickle?'" Renuart says with a chuckle. It's proof that the reach of the little-club-that-could extends beyond Miami-Dade's borders.
But before the Pickle closes this summer, it will see one more Miami Music Week (MMW) — or Winter Music Conference, as the week was commonly referred to when the venue opened in March 2009.
For Renuart, programming the club's final
"Hallucienda with DJ Three has been doing Thursdays since the beginning," he says. "Fridays has been Soul Clap and House of Efunk, and Saturdays has always been Harvey."
According to Renuart, DJ Harvey's All Night Long is special. The sold-out event promises a night with the iconic DJ in a room that holds only about 150 people. "He doesn't play a room that small anymore. He's coming back because he loves that room."
One party that won't return is Get Lost — Damian Lazarus and Crosstown Rebels' epic MMW blowout that was held at the Pickle until 2012. Renuart admits that, logistically, hosting the event is unfeasible due to space restrictions and the fact that more residents live nearby today than in those early years.
"Damian called me and said, 'Will, Pickle means a lot to me, and it's played an important part for us,'" Renuart says. There was talk about doing a Get Lost afterparty, but Renuart feared it would get shut down and the Pickle's closure would happen sooner than June. "It would cause too much drama."
Detroit, the House of Techno. With Omar S and Ataxia. 10 p.m. Wednesday, March 27, at Electric Pickle. Tickets cost $15 via residentadvisor.net.
Hallucienda MMW 2019. With DJ Three, DJ Tennis, Doc Martin, and others. 10 p.m. Thursday, March 28, at Electric Pickle. Tickets cost $20 via residentadvisor.net.
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House of Efunk Miami. With Soul Clap, Kenny Dope, Felix da Housecat, Mija, and others. 10 p.m. Friday, March 29, at Electric Pickle. Tickets cost $30 via residentadvisor.net.
DJ Harvey. 10 p.m. Saturday, March 30, at Electric Pickle. Tickets are sold out.
Miki Beach. With M.A.N.D.Y., Jody Wisternoff, Eli of Soul Clap, Cassy, and others. 4 p.m. Sunday, March 31, at Electric Pickle. Tickets cost $20 via residentadvisor.net.
Pickle Love Last Dance. With Cassy, Bamboozle, and others. 10 p.m. Sunday, March 31, at Electric Pickle. Tickets cost $10 to $15 via residentadvisor.net.