Back in April, there was very bad news: Beloved Brickell live music venue Transit Lounge announced that it would be closing its doors due to the threat of imminent foreclosure on 729 SW First Avenue.
"I am deeply saddened that it has come down to this," said Transit owner Will Edwards at the time via Facebook. "We fought a good fight but the banks just aren't lending and the landlords did the best they could but the writing is on the wall."
Less than a month later, though, we got some very good news: Transit had been saved when Edwards purchased the property. And for the last six months, the Brickell spot seemed to be operating as usual.
Well, until Friday night, when without warning or explanation, Transit Lounge suddenly shut down operations, closing forever.
Crossfade's first indication of the First Avenue venue's abrupt closure came last night when ¡Mayday!'s Wrekonize tweeted, "RIP Transit Lounge....Seems for real for real this time.....Thankful for all the great people we met there and every amazing show had there!"
Meanwhile, a quick glance at Transit's own Twitter feed provides no additional information as its last two updates, dating back to Wednesday ("Your beloved Transit lounge...") and Thursday ("HAPPY HOUR (All day) - $1 PBR..."), suggest nothing out of the ordinary.
Several calls seeking comment from both Transit and Will Edwards's Sprockets & Co have not been answered. But this morning, Crossfade received an email from three-year Transit employee, bartender Elena S. Davila, confirming that the Brickell spot had indeed been shuttered and providing a glimpse into Transit's strange, final hours.
"My boyfriend, Mikey Steel, and I lost our jobs unexpectedly [Friday]," Davila says. "We had worked on Thursday night. Around 4 p.m. [the next day], our manager called and told us the place had been gutted.
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"We are a very close staff and consider ourselves closer to a family than coworkers," she adds. "We were shocked by the abrupt closure, because we had no prior notice. However, we definitely had some indication that the ship was sinking."
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In fact, Davila accuses the owner of fatally neglecting the business. "The owner, Will Edwards, refused to keep the bar stocked, book bands, or even show up at his own business. He kept us open just long enough to filter all the money to his new venture, Kork Wine and Cheese."
"He killed Transit, which was earlier this year, one of the best, busiest bars in Miami," Davila insists. "He lied to us and to the public when he announced that he had 'saved' it back in May."