Back in the mid-’00s, Studio A was known as Miami's quintessential underground party spot, a place where the Magic City's misfits would go to see everyone from M.I.A. to Moby put on raw, uncensored performances. It was a midsized venue that hosted some of the 305's most infamous weekly parties, including Revolver, Plastik Fantastik, and SceneWolf.
But sadly, the Park West institution closed its doors in 2008. Since then, other clubs – including Kukaramakara and, most recently, Therapy Miami – stood in its place, but none has been able to fill the sizable void Studio A left behind. Though some of the promoters behind the legendary nightclub went on to pursue other endeavors, including the now-defunct Grand Central, no other club to have taken over 60 NE 11th St. has been able to live up to Studio A's rep — until now. At least that's what the team behind the Hangar hopes to accomplish.
“A lot of those [aforementioned] guys actually started out in our room when it was Studio A,” explains Opey Flierl, the club's general manager. “I believe the Grand Central guys as well as the Electric Pickle and Treehouse guys used to throw parties at Studio A before those clubs opened. We're not going to be the new Grand Central, but we're going to go back to the old Studio A.”
Sure, that's a pretty bold statement to make, but during its first three months of operation, the Hangar has already hosted some pretty big national acts, including Skrillex, who played a super-last-minute DJ set for his birthday back in January.
And with Miami Music Week right around the corner, the Hangar is pumped up and ready for its inaugural weeklong rager, which will include Bro Safari's Animal House on Monday, March 14; Future Sound of Breaks' 14th Anniversary Blockbuster with Stanton Warriors and Craze on Friday, March 18; and Snailed It! Miami with Snails on Saturday, March 19.
MMW excitement aside, Flierl says the Hangar will continue with some stellar bookings well after the uhntz-uhntz madness subsides.
“I feel with Miami, there's so much competition in the nightlife world,” he says. “Except for Churchill's, there isn't much going on as far as live music. We want to fill this niche.”
The Hangar has already hosted gigs from Radioboxer, Robb Bank$, and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony in the past, but it's still trying hard to fill that void, a code other clubs that have stood in Studio A's shadow have yet to crack.
“When you walked in the room when it was Therapy, it didn’t feel right,” Flierl admits. “They were trying to do more of a club vibe and VIP service, but that doesn't work as far as a downtown venue goes. Now, it has more of a dark, cool feeling and vibe.”
Music and ambiance aside, Flierl says another advantage of the Hangar is its “anything goes” ideology.
“GTA was here a few weeks ago,” he recalls. “They played their bangers, but they also played the 'Cha-Cha Slide.' It went from EDM to cha-cha to DJ Laz. They really brought Miami into their music and their set. It's cool to see artists morph into the venue. If they're at one of the bigger nightclubs, they'll play a certain way, but that whole 'no rules, anything goes' vibe appeals to the artists as well.”
Being located on the same block as the 305's longest-running nightclub, Space Miami, and the 24/7 party hall E11even Miami, however, can be somewhat daunting for a new venue like the Hangar. But Flierl respects and embraces the competition.
“There's always pressure in any business, but it's cool to be on the same street [as these venues],” he says. “Being the underdog, there's definitely some insecurities that come out, but as much as I love them, we're trying to bring a different sound. If you sound great, I want you to play.
“It's kinda intimidating, but at the end of the day, we all get together, and we support what we're doing.”
Bro Safari with Craze, G Buck, Lookas, and more. 10 p.m. Monday, March 14, at the Hangar, 60 NE 11th St., Miami; 305-702-3257; facebook.com/Thehangar305. Tickets cost $25 to $35 plus fees via ticketfly.com.
Circus and Ram. 10 p.m. Tuesday, March 15, at the Hangar, 60 NE 11th St., Miami; 305-702-3257; facebook.com/Thehangar305. Tickets cost $25 to $45 plus fees via ticketfly.com.
Slander, DJ 4B, Lookas, and more. 10 p.m. Wednesday, March 16, at the Hangar, 60 NE 11th St., Miami; 305-702-3257; facebook.com/Thehangar305. Tickets cost $20 to $30 plus fees via ticketfly.com.
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Firepower Presents Infamous Miami with Datsik. 10 p.m. Thursday, March 17, at the Hangar, 60 NE 11th St., Miami; 305-702-3257; facebook.com/Thehangar305. Tickets cost $20 to $35 plus fees via ticketfly.com.
Future Sound of Breaks' 14th Anniversary with Stanton Warriors, DJ Craze, David Christophere, and more. 8 p.m. Friday, March 18, at the Hangar, 60 NE 11th St., Miami; 305-702-3257; facebook.com/Thehangar305. Tickets cost $40 plus fees via futuresoundofbreaks.com.
Snailed It featuring Snails and special guests. 10 p.m. Saturday, March 19, at the Hangar, 60 NE 11th St., Miami; 305-702-3257; facebook.com/Thehangar305. Tickets cost $25 to $35 plus fees via ticketfly.com.