It's an exciting time to be a music fan in the 305. There was last week's announcement of Off Weekend music festival. Then there are the new music venues that have recently debuted. And how about the wealth of talent emerging from our swamp?
As we pour one for the city's fallen music venues, we recognize and appreciate the resilience of our city's music scene. We find ourselves constantly saying, "Wait, there's a show where?" From Metrorail stations to seafood restaurants and prop houses, here are Miami's five most unlikely music venues.
1. Government Center Metrorail Station. It's a typical Monday morning. Half asleep, you wander the streets of downtown wondering how you spilled your much-needed coffee all over that fresh outfit. Your inner Miami dialogue screams, "F%!# Monday, bro." A question: Is there a force powerful enough in the universe to combat those Monday woes? The answer: Yes! Welcome Wake Up Miami!, a beacon of hope providing free Monday-morning concerts hosted by local arts nonprofit PAXy (Putting Art in the galaXy). 2017 marks the series' third year enlivening monotonous Monday-morning commutes at the busy Government Center Metrorail and Metromover station. As commuters pass through the transit hub each week, they're greeted with a mix of dance, street theater, and live music with genres spanning reggae, folk, jazz, classical, and world music for about an hour, according to PAXy's site. Instead of being stuck in gridlock with tired playlists, save gas and enjoy live music in an unconventional setting. Check out the series' summer and fall lineups. 8:30 a.m. every Monday July 3 through December 4 at Government Center Station, 101 NW First St., Miami; 305-891-3131; paxy.org. Admission is free.
2. Coyo Taco. If you're craving fare of the Mexican kind, ask 305ers and they'll likely point you in the direction of this neighborhood taqueria. This spot was voted Best Taco by New Times readers. But what awaits in the backroom is one of Miami's best-kept secrets. If you weren't looking for it, you'd never know there was a tiny club in the back of this random taco joint. The nondescript bar is just past the restrooms and down the hall. There's a party in the backroom pretty much every night of the week, so when you see the lines forming outside this Wynwood hot spot, you know where customers are probably headed after their tacos. 2300 NW Second Ave., Miami; 305-573-8228; coyo-taco.com.
The Listening Den at Ace Prop House + Studio. Imagine a mythical place full of unique props, vintage sets, and eclectic decor where the shakers aren't shaking ice, the people around you are dead silent, and capturing the moment on your phone is forbidden during a live performance. This spot now exists in a Miami prop house dubbed the Listening Den. Brought to you by Ace and Prism Creative Group, the new sit-down concert series at the warehouse aims to give artists the attention and respect they deserve during live performances. 398 NE 78th St., Miami; 305-756-0888; propshopmiami.com.
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RC Cola Plant. Raging at the old RC Cola Plant in Wynwood has been a local pastime for the past few years. Currently owned by the Mana Urban Arts Project, the graffiti-covered warehouse has been a backdrop for events such as Wynwood Fear Factory, Wynwood Life Festival, and Dim Mak 2017. If you're looking to catch live music here in the near future, the Halloween-themed Wynwood Fear Factory festival will return to the plant October 28 and 29 with a stacked lineup featuring DJ Snake, Porter Robinson, Wiz Khalifa, Steve Angello, Big Gigantic, Yellow Claw, Oliver Heldens, Robin Schulz, Martin Solveig, Cedric Gervais, and others. Warning: That thump isn't coming from the speakers; it's the sound of your brain spewing out of your ears and onto the dance floor. 550 NW 24th St., Miami; 305-573-0371; manawynwood.com.
Chef Creole. Located on a busy corner in Little Haiti, this longtime staple is known for its delicious Haitian cuisine. Its a must-try when visiting Miami — just ask Anthony Bourdain. Last year, New Times dubbed it one of the ten best restaurants in Little Haiti. But the famed eatery serves more than fresh seafood. Live music is now on the menu. Although you won't find the stage inside the restaurant itself, the adjacent performance park is where events and concerts are sometimes held. Where else can you get down while devouring scrumptious conch fritters? 200 NW 54th St., Miami; 305-754-2223; chefcreole.com.