The busy season in Miami brings cooler weather, thirsty snowbirds, and a new cast of venues vying for a slice of the action. To help you get ahead on partying, New Times rounded up eight of the city's most anticipated, unexpected, and buzz-worthy bar and nightclub openings. Now that Miami Art Week and Miami Music Week are just around the corner, consider this your fresh guide to local nightlife's most wonderful time of the year.
Boombox. Hospitality veteran Ben Potts (Beaker & Gray, Mason Eatery) co-owns and helms the bar at this loosely '90s-themed concept opened in the space formerly occupied by Midtown crown jewel Bardot. A year-and-a-half in the making, Boombox picks up where its predecessor left off, parlaying its music-heavy legacy by packing its programming full of live local nights and a rotation of mainstay DJs such as Patrick Walsh and A-Train throughout the week. Though Potts is confident Bardot was "tried and true," he acknowledges a few elements needed improving. He and the Boombox team began by paring down and streamlining the intimately sized interior and expanding the bar to alleviate the service bottleneck. And to be more inclusive and less of a "cool kids' club," he says, Boombox won't charge a cover except for special events. "I think a lot of places take themselves a little too seriously," Potts says. "I just really wanted to make something that was a lot of fun." 3456 N. Miami Ave., Miami; 305-814-4548; boomboxmiami.com. Open daily 5 p.m. to 3 a.m.
Brigitte. Amir Ben-Zion is a self-described "sucker for projects." His now-retired late-night restaurant Gigi and next-door music venue Bardot were instant hits preceding the whirlwind of Wynwood, while the music festival he
Kindred. Consider it Sidebar 2.0. What was initially meant to be an eight-month pop-up bar launched by nightlife hitmakers Jason Odio (Baby Jane, Ariete) and Raul Sanchez (Peachfuzz, Bar) in late 2014, the sprawling venue on the western fringes of Brickell was an instant success until it closed its doors this past September. But it wasn't the end for Sidebar — just a metamorphosis. "
Los Altos. Located upstairs from Calle Ocho’s famous Taquerías el Mexicano, Los Altos is the latest offering from the team behind Little Havana's wildly popular Ball & Chain. Branded as an "intimate, upscale cocktail lounge," the hidden space (look for the Mexican dulcería and follow the piñatas) draws inspiration from Mexico's cultural heritage, from the cocktail menu to the authentic, imported décor, including hand-painted tiles and repurposed doors from an abandoned church. The 3,000-square-foot venue features nine velvet-upholstered banquettes, eclectic music programming with a "splash of Mexican mixed in," and a cocktail menu that offers homemade frozen horchata, developed in collaboration with prominent Mexican mixologist Erik Gaytan. 521 SW Eighth St., Miami. Open Friday and
Lost Boy. Midcentury Southwest Americana is the vibe at this former downtown denim purveyor-turned-watering hole opened over the summer by partners Randy Alonso and Chris Hudnall, who boast retail and nightlife expertise, respectively, and joined forces for this no-nonsense neighborhood cocktail bar that pairs comfort and style. Pool, piano, darts, and board games fill the two-level, 2,600-plus-square-foot space whose various nooks and surfaces are adorned with relics from Alonso's personal history, including vintage pieces from his family in Cuba. In keeping with the cowboy-cool motif, prices are relatively relaxed, with properly swizzled cocktails, such as the 1792 old-fashioned, running $12 and half-pint beers going for $5. 157 E. Flagler St., Miami; 305-372-7303; lostboydrygoods.com. Open noon to 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday, noon to 10 p.m. Sunday.
Mama Tried. Downtown Miami's renaissance continues with Mama Tried, a plush, red-carpeted, '70s-inspired haunt that aims to be a "drinker's bar." Occupying the former space of the gritty dive Pub One, Mama Tried reopened over the summer under the direction of partners Domingo Murillo, Dan Binkiewicz (Purdy Lounge, Sweet Liberty, Blackbird Ordinary), and Mauricio Lacayo (Bend Liquor Lounge). Cocktails ($11 to $12) mix the classics with kitsch, while nightly programming stays true to the theme: Tuesdays set it off slow with R&B and '70s soul, Thursdays pay homage to "solid country gold," and Sundays are strictly disco, baby. 207 NE First St., Miami; 786-803-8087; mamatriedmia.com. Open Monday through
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Pizza & Beer. From the team behind Wynwood stalwart Wood Tavern and Allapattah's live-music darling Las Rosas, Pizza & Beer rounds out owner Cesar Morales' collection of successful bars and restaurants as an "intentionally straightforward pizza joint meets
Thrift Shop. Enter through the front of an actual thrift shop filled with vintage finds, swing back the fitting-room doors, and find yourself in a retro speakeasy born from a long line of gritty downtown Miami bars. Travis Rogers was a manager at this spot back when it was called Railroad Blues. After years of trying to scoop up