To live in Miami is to witness some of the city’s favorite bars, clubs, and music venues disappear into thin air — sometimes without warning. As options for live music diminish year by year, brave souls are up for the challenge of filling those voids. But before opening in a former space of one of the fallen, they might want to consider the history of these casualties. From bars to clubs, here are five venues the Magic City lost in 2018.
Miami’s home base for underground music.
Courtesy of Bardot
Bardot. Miami’s home base for underground music was well known for presenting acts way before they were on most people’s radar. The chic venue offered local and national performers across genres and will forever go down as one of the best loved in the city’s history. In July 2017, Bardot announced on Instagram it was closing for renovations and would reopen before III Points that year, but it never did. Instead, Boombox, the newest nightlife concept from the cofounders of Beaker & Gray and Mason Eatery, opened in the space in November. Though the bar technically closed in 2017, fears that it would never return were officially confirmed this year.
The marathon DJ sets at Heart will never be forgotten.
Photo by Karli Evans
Heart. Miami is the place where people come to do crazy things, including record-setting marathon DJ sets. In its day, Heart had a knack for hosting them, including Joseph Capriati’s 25-hour performance that made Mix Mag‘s list of longest DJ sets. The mandatory after-hours spot opened in Miami’s 24-hour entertainment district in 2015 in the former Nocturnal space but suddenly shuttered this past March. Dubbed one of the best defunct music venues in town by New Times, Heart ultimately closed due to its ongoing battles with the City of Miami and noise complaints from neighbors.
Photo by Alex Markow
King of Diamonds. Running into celebs such as Rick Ross, Drake, Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, and Justin Bieber was a regular occurrence at the world-famous strip club and hip-hop music venue affectionately known as KOD. Stars, like many Miamians, loved hanging out there into the wee hours; in fact, New Times dubbed King of Diamonds one of the best after-hour spots in town. But, as New Times reported last month, “it was sued for foreclosure in August 2017, and now, according to court documents… the club was ordered evicted November 1.” Although the famed venue is gone, its spirit will live on through the multitude of raps songs that shout out to KOD.
Here’s to Sidebar’s spirit living on through its daughter, Kindred.
Photo by George Martinez/gmartnx.com
Sidebar. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes is one of Miami’s newest clubs, Kindred, dubbed “Sidebar 2.0” by New Times. When nightlife impresarios Jason Odio and Raul Sanchez opened Sidebar in 2014, the Brickell venue was supposed to be only an “eight-month pop-up bar,” according to Odio. The underrated music venue said goodbye in September but shortly thereafter relaunched during Miami Art Week as Kindred, boasting an impressive music lineup. According to Odio, Sidebar kept drawing crowds, and its programming and bookings became difficult to manage. Now that the founders have signed a longer lease, Odio and Sanchez opened an “elevated concept across the board,” Odio told New Times. Here’s to Sidebar’s spirit living on through Kindred.
So long, Ora.
Photo by Chris Carter
Ora Nightclub. The über-exclusive 10,000-square-foot club lasted less than a year and a half before closing in April. Ora’s colorful, two-room sanctuary consisted of the main dance floor and the laid-back upstairs Anti Social Room. This was where people came to party when they didn’t want to deal with obnoxious spilled-drink situations at overpacked clubs. The Miami Beach hot spot set out to be a reprieve from nightlife chaos and even earned a nod from New Times in 2017 for best VIP room. You might remember Ora as the former Adore Nightclub, but that one lasted only 16 weeks. Ora’s managing partner Greg See said in a statement to New Times earlier this year: “We were truly sorry to close doors at Ora. We have had an incredible run and appreciate the support from the community. Ultimately, the concept wasn’t sustainable in Miami Beach at this time, but the popular second-floor Anti Social Room will live on in a new location in the future.” Could Ora’s closure be attributed to the bad juju of the location? Only the party gods know.