Edison Farrow, a native New Yorker, grew up loving live music and piano bars. So after 12 years as a Miami nightclub promoter, he decided to open the Cabaret South Beach, a nightspot where all the employees are singers. “One minute they are serving you a drink, and the next minute they are serving you a song,” he says.
The Cabaret occupied a few previous venues before finding its current home at the Shelborne South Beach. Once you enter the lobby, the sound of live music guides you to a cozy library with comfortable seating and dim lighting.
“It has been incredible finding so many Miami singers and musicians and offering them the platform they’ve never had before,” Farrow says of the Cabaret.
The first person he hired was singer-songwriter Janae Cat. The performer — who has opened for Cher, performed at Live on Lincoln and the South Beach Jazz Festival, and is a regular at the Barbra Streisand room of the Friar's Club in New York City — calls being part of the Cabaret "an accomplishment that brings a smile to my heart knowing that I could attempt to materialize my dreams."
What makes singing at the Cabaret special? The chanteuse says it's the diversity of each evening. "No night is ever the same even when the people are. We are truly connected and moving through music.”
Guests are fully immersed in the show. They request songs and even sing on occasion. Music choices range from Ray Charles, Etta James, and Tina Turner to Halsey. Sing-alongs are welcomed and highly encouraged.
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Along with the entertainment, a wide variety of food and drinks is available from both the Drawing Room and Root & Bone.
Root & Bone offers its famous sweet tea–brined fried chicken (half $19/whole $36), crispy root tostones ($9), and shrimp and grits ($26).
The Drawing Room boasts a full bar serving specialty drinks such as the Aztec Medicine, made with muddled pineapple and cilantro, habanero bitters, and Santa Teresa rum. Snacks such as chicharrones, marinated watermelon skewers, and fried green tomatoes cost $7 a plate.
Cabaret South Beach at the Shelborne. 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Thursday through Saturday at 1801 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-504-7500; shelborne.com.