When Tobacco Road closes its doors during the early hours of October 26, it will mark the end of century's worth of music, drink, food, and memories.
The Road, as it is fondly called, has been a speakeasy, a gangster hideout, a brothel, and a bakery. Its liquor license was issued in November 1912. If that's not enough to make it an iconic landmark, how about the fact that nearly every major blues act played at the bar -- with the exception of B.B. King (and we still have a few days for that to happen).
But all things must end. Or must they?
Tobacco Road's longtime operating manager, Joel Riviera, is hellbent on preserving the name, if not the exact geographic location of Tobacco Road. Already, pictures have been taken off the walls and memorabilia packed and stored in anticipation for a move. The only questions left are "Where?" "When?" and "How?"
At a news conference scheduled for 3 p.m. today, several "major announcements" will be revealed pertaining to "Tobacco Road's future in Miami and beyond." But some information is already out if you know where to look.
Tobacco Road's Kickstarter campaign, finally live, announced the bar's new location at 69 SW Seventh St. in Brickell.
The campaign, which has a goal of raising $50,000 in 40 days, implores fans of the bar to contribute, saying:
Unfortunately, with the huge growth of Miami, Tobacco Road must make room for developers and will be closing its doors at this location for good at a huge bash planned for Saturday, October 25th. We, the employees of Tobacco Road are working with everyone who loved the space to save the numerous historical items within. Hundreds of promotional items from acts of all genres, the iconic neon sign, the antique front doors and even the huge bar top will be removed and kept for safe keeping with hopes we will be able to reopen Tobacco Road at a new location, not far from where it currently sits. The team looking to save the history of the road is headed up by Joel Riviera, who started as a barback, and is now the General Manager overseeing all operations. We're excited to announce our new location in Brickell at 69 SW 7th Street!! Be a part of history and PLEASE help us raise the money to excavate and get on our way to saving all these memories!
So far, 20 Kickstarter backers have pledged a total of $1,152.
As for the other major announcements, stay tuned.
If you want to contribute to the relocation of Tobacco Road, visit kickstarter.com. A $20 pledge will get you a souvenir postcard, and a $25 pledge will get you the following:
Limited edition Tobacco Road post card. Inclusion on list of supporting members for new Tobacco Road. General admission ticket to Last Call party (good for admittance and/or commemorative keepsake). Set of 4 Tobacco Road coasters. Certificate for Road Burger from the Tobacco Road food truck.
Here's the lineup for the big "Last Call" closing party this Saturday, October 25:
Upstairs in the Cocktail Collection
9 p.m. The Hoovers
10 p.m. The Eclectics
11:30 p.m. The Hongs
1 a.m. The Oski Foundation
Outside Parking-Lot Stage
8 p.m. Eric Vick
9 p.m. The Jay Blues Band
10 p.m. Pat De Leon, AKA Mr. Tobacco Road
11 p.m. JUke
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12:30 a.m. Afrobeta