For as long as Crossfade's been partaking in Miami's nightlife, NE 14th Street has always been dominated by hipster venues: I/O Lounge, PS 14, and White Room and later the Vagabond, Bar, and Eve. Well, the neighborhood is welcoming a new tenant that doesn't really fit the PBR mold. (The only exception to this rule was Karu & Y, which, come on, never really mattered except during Winter Music Conference.)
Johnny's, a gay bar and nightclub from Fort Lauderdale, is expanding its reach into Miami this Thursday when it will take over the space formerly occupied by the short-lived (but oh-so-delicious) Urbanite Bistro.
Crossfade spoke with AJ Cross, vice president of operations for both Johnny's locations, over the phone. While the grand opening flyer states "strip shows start @ 6 p.m. daily," we asked Cross whether there would be full nudity.
"No, I guess we're more of a go-go bar," he explains. "We'll have a room for the dancers, another that's more of a traditional nightclub, and an outdoor patio area as well."
The venue plans on being open seven days a week from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m., welcoming anyone who is 18 and over -- yes, even the ladies.
So, why the 14th Street location and not, say, South Beach?
"It's convenient from I-95 and there's nothing else here," Cross responds. "It's an untapped market."
And while last year New Times declared Miami's gay allure dead, Cross says the county's smart marketing to LGBT tourist keeps them coming, even if Fort Lauderdale has surpassed South Beach as Florida's gay mecca.
"Miami really knows how to attract them, while Fort Lauderdale is a few steps behind."
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We expect that Johnny's will definitely bring a new dynamic to the hipster club corridor. The Vagabond has always attracted groups of gay men to its Saturday night Back Door Bamby party. But it's always been a mixed affair with no one really caring about who you're sleeping with.
Johnny's makes no apologies. It's a gay bar in downtown Miami. And the only other nearby competitor would be Discotekka, located at the mega-complex that houses Mekka and Vlada Lounge on NE Second Avenue near Midtown Miami.
Johnny's Miami Grand Opening Weekend. Thursday, June 23 to Sunday, June 26. 62 NE 14th St, Miami. Doors 5 p.m.; 18 and over with ID. 305-640-8749. facebook.com/johnnysmiami