New Wynwood bar Gramps (176 NW 24th St., Miami) is a blend of Old Florida, hipster aesthetics, and the area's signature warehouse grittiness. In other words, it's perfect.
"It originates with my grandfather, Irving Miller," owner Adam Gersten says about the venue's name and feel. "But it is also symbolic of a connection to the past — the past of our city, the arc of an interesting life."
Gramps made its debut during Art Basel week with a slew of high-profile bookings and events, so the real test of Gersten's business savvy and the bar's appeal will take place in the following months. But Gersten is no stranger to the nightlife business. He's been booking shows at venues such as Churchill's Pub for years and founded his own music label, Needless Records.
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"I think Wynwood is easy to get to for a lot of people and has potential to be a place where people can get food, drinks, and shop without strolling through a mall," he says. "On a personal satisfaction level, I think it is exciting to be part of the community of young business owners here like my neighbors at Elemental, Panther, Lester's, Wood Tavern, etc."
Still, every venue needs something to draw people through its doors. Wood Tavern can lay claim to having been Wynwood's first straightforward bar. (Unlike Electric Pickle or Cafeina, which operate as nightclubs.) So what is Gramps's angle?
"Wow, that's the question," Gersten admits. "I think trying to find our niche in a tough business is what it's about, but I have been booking stuff for a while and have a strong sense of my personal style and what really moves me. And I'm a weird but simple guy who likes Budweiser, the Super Bowl, and rock 'n' roll music, and also electronic stuff and Glenn Branca.
"In the end, that mix, that spectrum, might keep different types of people interested in what we are presenting night to night."