Pasta Vino to Host Magnum Nights: Dr. Wayne, Rick, and Carla to Perform

Magnum Lounge closed its doors last weekend, leaving thousands of Miami residents without a song in their hearts.

The beloved piano bar and restaurant, among the oldest in Miami since Tobacco Road was torn down, said its goodbyes Saturday. But there is plenty of good news to come out of the closing.

Bar Lab's Gabriel Orta and Elad Zvi have been tapped to operate a new bar in that location, with a transformation underway. Although much isn't known about plans for the project, expect a creative cocktail list in a warm, welcoming environment. 

Meanwhile, Magnum Lounge's various entertainers, some of whom performed on the piano bar's tiny stage for years, have found a new home just down the road from Magnum's old location on NE 79th Street.

Italian restaurant Pasta Vino just announced Magnum Nights, where many of Magnum's singers, musicians, and even bartenders have found a new home. The piano bar show will run Thursdays through Sundays beginning October 29.

The 200-seat restaurant, located in a North Bay Village retail center on the 79th Street Causeway, opened in December 2014 and has quietly been serving dishes made with fresh pastas and home-grown herbs.

The restaurant has grown into a locals' favorite, which is why chef/owner Yiannis Devert thought hosting Magnum Nights was such a good idea. "I’ve always been a fan of Magnum Lounge. The casual atmosphere and the energy that the entertainers brought to the room was amazing. When I heard that Magnum was closing, I knew Pasta Vino would make a great spot for them to relocate to. We are only a few blocks east on the causeway, we have a very large dining room, tons of free parking, and a great sound system. With so many live music venues closing in Miami, I knew I needed to invite these people to be a part of Pasta Vino."

Devert says he loved the energy of Magnum Lounge. "I’ve lived in North Bay Village for many years. Seeing as I spend a majority of my evenings in the kitchen, I wasn’t able to go as much as I would have liked, but on the nights I was able get out early, it was a great place to go to unwind with cocktails, watch people sing along with the performers, and let loose."

The restaurateur partnered with Wayne "Dr. Wayne" Gilbert, who for about eight years played the Saturday late-night sing-along show at Magnum Lounge. Gilbert calls this new partnership "almost karmic when you consider the timing of Magnum's closing with the recent opening of Pasta Vino right down the street from Magnum and Yiannis already familiar with me and my performances.

"I've been searching for the right business partner for many years. The economy hasn't been helpful. Now that things seem to be a little bit better, I was confident that I would soon find a visionary type of person with the same intention of creating a scene where it's impossible not to have a great time."

Gilbert has enlisted some of Magnum's best talent for Magnum Nights, including Rick and Carla. "They've been the Friday late-night act for about a decade. It was a no-brainer to bring them along." Gilbert hopes other performers will soon join the roster. "I hope that most of them will be able to come along eventually. Jonathan Lolly, who has been performing with Rick on Thursdays, is one of my favorite singers in the world. He also happens to be one of the loveliest guys I ever met, so I definitely would love to have him as soon as circumstances permit. Marisol, Kimona, Roberta, Victor, and a few more are also high on my list."

Though Gilbert will miss the lounge he called home for nearly a decade, he's looking forward to this new chapter. "I just want to say how excited everybody is to be able to continue the incredible scene that we've all built up at Magnum, with an ever better situation as far as parking and piano visibility. The sound system will be far superior, the restaurant is very clean, with an amazing air-conditioning system."

Asked why Magnum fans should check out the new venue, Gilbert is quick to add to the list of Pasta Vino's benefits. "There is a cozy lounge for privacy with comfortable seating and a beautiful patio for smokers, the prices are very reasonable compared to Magnum, the staff is incredibly competent, and Pasta Vino is very LGBT-friendly, as Magnum was."

Devert says hosting Magnum Nights is a way to keep some of the flavor of 79th Street while embracing the positive changes happening. "The neighborhood is changing, and we’re excited to be a part of the change. There are many excellent new restaurants in MiMo and on the causeway, and I’m sure the new owners of Magnum will be successful for those in the neighborhood as well as to bring a new crowd who might not know the amazing cuisine and nightlife that is only a few blocks from South Beach."

Magnum Nights at Pasta Vino begins Thursday, October 29. Hours are Thursday from 7 to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., and Sunday from 7 to 10 p.m. 

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