4

The Kitchen Club Celebrates 29 Years as Miami's Goth-Music Haven

Notorious Nastie
Notorious Nastie
Photo by Charles Vazquez
^
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

Florida is the Sunshine State, but its southern tip has continually proven to be a hive for the dark and morbid. Despite all of the palm trees, shimmering sands, and omnipresent heat of the sun, goth culture has long pervaded Miami in a manner more befitting a depressed English seaside town in the '80s.

There are plenty of theories as to why this is the case. Maybe it’s a reaction to the decadence that so often defines Miami. But Nassie Shahoulian, better known as the weird local fixture the Notorious Nastie, has a more straightforward idea.

“Miami is an incubator for counterculture like no other city in the world,” Nastie says. “Other cities ignore the strange and unusual; our city is strange and usual. I stole that line from Beetlejuice because, like him, I am the host with the most.”

As Miami’s most depraved master of ceremonies, Nastie has spent much of the past five years hosting monthly iterations of the Kitchen Club at Churchill’s Pub. Like Nastie himself, the Kitchen Club has been an indispensable part of Miami nightlife for nearly three decades, lending Miamians an opportunity to solemnly shuffle to the likes of Ministry, the Sisters of Mercy, and other goth-adjacent acts. This month’s Kitchen Club marks the 29th anniversary of Miami’s most unlikely after-hours staple, and as is customary, Kitchen Club leader Aldo Luca will man the decks under his DJ 16bit moniker, joined by Nastie and other musical guests.

“The Kitchen Club got its start at South Beach Hotel in 1988,” Nastie recounts. “By the early '90s, the hotel was sold, and the Kitchen Club was destined to slip away into obscurity. Luckily for us, Kitchen Club staff members Aldo Luca and Peter V. hired 95 percent of the original staff, and the Kitchen Club found a new life at the old Rocky Horror venue in Coconut Grove.”

After that venue shuttered its doors in 1999, the Kitchen Club began life anew as a roaming party throughout South Florida. As a longtime attendee, Nastie feels privileged to play an active role in an event that shaped his adolescence.

“In high school, I was a weird drama kid who really didn't fit in anywhere,” Nastie says. “The Kitchen Club was my escape from the norm. For the last five years, it has been my honor to help Aldo keep its torch lit and burning bright. He has been a wonderful partner and a valued friend. He's like my Bela Lugosi, and I'm sort of his Ed Wood.”

Besides the visceral thrills of gloriously gaudy makeup and the satisfaction of being able to rock an all-black look without the threat of heat exhaustion — not to mention high-profile guests like Iggy Pop, Marilyn Manson, and most recently Andy Rourke of the Smiths — Nastie attributes the Kitchen’s continued success to nostalgia for the well-remembered '80s, as well as the potency and emotional resonance of the decade’s music and culture.

“You just have to stand in back of the club and watch the crowd swaying from side to side in a New Wave and '80s-fueled synchronicity; if you are like me, you will be hypnotized and transported to a time before you had two kids and a mortgage. The Kitchen gives me, and so many others, the chance to relive the best years of our lives once a month.”

The Kitchen Club Presents Anniversary Party. With DJ 16bit, Danny Bled, Sinsek, the Notorious Nastie, and others. 9 p.m. Saturday, August 19, at Churchill's Pub, 5501 NE Second Ave., Miami; 305-757-1807; churchillspub.com. Admission is $10 at the door.

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.