“We are closing down at the current location,” Carlos Garcia, owner of The Stage, tells New Times. “The landlord [Sound Theory Live Holdings LLC] is looking to sell the building.”
When The Stage moved into its blocky bunker at the corner of NE 38th and First Court, the Design District was already home to high-end furniture stores, couture shops, and expensive restaurants. But it was also still a neighborhood where lots of local galleries and artist studios could afford the rent. There weren’t many clubs, and Garcia’s joint was among the neighborhood’s only bars with nightly live music.
In the intervening half decade since The Stage’s launch, the Design District has become a rapidly expanding sprawl of superglossy, ultra-pricey boutiques from Prada, Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Christian Louboutin, Ralph Lauren, and Marc Jacobs, among others. The galleries were pushed out years ago. And now it is The Stage’s turn.
“Our last day will be May 10,” the owner says. “And we’re planning a whole schedule leading up to that final night.”
The Stage Miami’s Grand Finale Lineup
Saturday, April 18 Suénalo Live
Monday, April 20 Reaching New Heightz, Volume 2
Tuesday, April 21 The Imperial Open Mic
Friday, April 24 Javier Garcia and Mr. Pauer
Friday, May 1 Locos Por Juana and Mr. Pauer
Saturday, May 2 Fight Night Live
Sunday, May 3 Cinco de Mayo Fest
Tuesday, May 5 The Imperial Open Mic
Friday, May 8 Palo! and Mr. Pauer
Saturday, May 9 Telekinetic Walrus Album-Release Party
Sunday, May 10 The Stage Farewell
The shutdown may not be permanent, though. Garcia and The Stage crew are considering a move.
“We’ve been looking for a while, but we haven’t found anything that meets everything that we want yet,” the owner says. “We’re still hopeful, and we’re still looking."
And despite losing the 170 NE 38th St. spot, he isn’t ruling out a return to The Stage’s current neighborhood either.
“We’re planning to stay in Dade County. The area of Wynwood and the Design District is a possibility,” the owner says.
But he’s also exploring other neighborhoods. “Places that are up-and-coming, where the artists and musicians are moving, like Little Havana. And we’ve also been approached by a couple of developers in the Grove.”
But ultimately, Garcia insists, he’s carefully considering his relocation options, because The Stage needs a long-term home with the kind of lived-in vibe that fits the club’s already established reputation as a haven for the laid-back and local.
“To be honest, we’re interested in going into an existing spot that’s got some history. Not some new plywood-and-drywall building.”
The Stage Farewell. Sunday, May 10, at The Stage, 170 NE 38th St., Miami; 305-576-9577; thestagemiami.com.