It's rarely good news when a long-standing and beloved bar shuts its doors and opens as something completely different. But that wasn't the case this past week when the space formerly known as Magnum Lounge reopened as the Anderson. "Miami is a city that likes change," says Anderson co-owner Elad Zvi. "People are open-minded, so there was no negativity when we took over. We wanted to do it in a way that didn't hurt the old Magnum. So my partner and I sat down and asked, 'Why did people love it?' We wanted to capture Magnum's feeling but clean it up a bit."
The Anderson's ownership group — the same team behind Miami Beach's always-popular Broken Shaker — immediately knew music would be a central focus of the Anderson's aesthetic. Honoring the site's history was the first order of business. So Thursday night has been established as Old School Magnum Night, where former Magnum piano man Dr. Wayne will return to his bench and sing melodies that will fill the nostalgia quotient.
On most nights, the bar's main soundtrack will be provided by the jukebox, which consists of 180 45s. "You can hear the vinyl when it plays," Zvi says. "Monday and Tuesday nights are jukebox nights. It's filled with great records: Depeche Mode, a Tribe Called Quest, Bobby Brown, and James Brown," just to name a few.
Wednesday nights will feature live jazz and blues. The Anderson is still working on booking for those nights and doesn't have a concrete lineup yet. Weekends will feature DJs, but don't expect EDM, Zvi explains. "Friday will have a soul and disco vibe like Donna Summer. Saturday night, for now, we have Carmel Ophir from Vagabond playing rock ’n’ roll and indie like the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, and Britpop like Blur. Sunday night, we are trying to have Lolo from Sweat Records curating music when she's not busy."
The outside portion of the Anderson Bar will have completely different music, focusing on an island vibe with reggae, jazz, and funk.
Zvi, a native of Israel who lived in New York before settling in South Florida for the past eight years, says the Anderson is working hard on booking live acts, though he's holding back on the specifics.
"We're working on music that people will be excited about. But we're not going to tell anyone until 24 or 48 hours before," says Zvi, adding that you will have to check the bar's website (theandersonmiami.com) and Facebook page to get the lowdown. "We want the neighborhood to fill the room and get a feel for it without any smoke or mirrors. Then we will build flavor with entertainment."
The Anderson, 709 NE 79th St. Causeway, Miami; 305-757-3368; theandersonmiami.com. Open 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Thursday and Sunday and 5 p.m. to 4 a.m. Saturdays.