HOT SPOTS IN SOMI – Something For Everyone

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Flaminco DancerA night out on the town shouldn’t be left for just the weekend, nor do you have to hit South Beach or Brickell to have a night of fun.  South Miami’s hot spots offer up plenty of excitement, whether you’re still in college or your kids are.  From beer tastings, to karaoke, to trivia nights, live music, and even flamenco performances, there’s something for every age and taste. 

 Casa-Larios-coupleNew to the area is Barceloneta, a Spanish-inspired venue with delicious drinks and a cozy atmosphere. Whether you’re passing by to enjoy their tapas dinner options or to hang out at the bar, your taste buds will love you. This laid-back, yet classy venue has been open for eight months, offering exquisite small plates, delicious wines and sinful desserts every day of the week, except Mondays. Tuesdays enjoy half-off wine bottles with about 80 different selections, about 98 percent of them from Spain. Not your typical liquor store selection, according to co-owner, Daniela Rezai. Every Tuesday through Friday features happy hour with half off drinks, 30 percent off pitchers and tasty bites for $7. For a special treat, find a seat Thursday nights for dinner and stay for something you won’t find at any other SOMI hot spot – flamenco dancing. Don’t be surprised if you catch yourself up and dancing. Rezai says many enthusiastic guests join in with the performers. For those who brunch, this spot has unconventional options like eggs benedict with pork, scrambled eggs with langoustines and scallions, and other unusual fare . This is a popular spot for date night or to have fun with friends.

“The crowd here really knows what they like. They appreciate good wines and enjoy more special dishes than they do at our South Beach location,” added Rezai. “We’ve even incorporated dishes guests have suggested to our menu.”

Barceloneta is also a great spot to catch any of the Spanish league soccer games — or for the locals, the home teams — with happy hour specials during the games.

BWW-ToastSpeaking of sports fanatics, the walls of TVs at Buffalo Wild Wings makes it the place for you to find any game you desire. Don’t see the game you’re wanting to watch?. Just ask. But this two-year-old venue has more than sports going for it. On Wednesday nights a DJ  and happy hour specials that start at 3 p.m. and last until closing make it a party. Wednesday nights are also popular with the kickball teams, according to owner Seth de Kanter, who says many of the leagues have post-game celebrations there. Healthy options have been added to their menu, in addition to the delicious bar food that goes so well with your beer and football. Thirty beer options on tap and 50 by bottle promise you’ll never be bored with your choice.

Sports Grill, another reliable spot for game day, has wings for 65 cents on Mondays and Monday Night Football drink specials. County workers are invited for free Miller Light until the keg is empty on Tuesdays. Wednesday is dollar draft day, two-for-one drinks and kids eat free with an adult meal, making it a great mid-week family night out.

Titanic_albert castigliaIf you’re more into the local bar scene, check out Titanic Brewery and Restaurant on Monday nights for one dollar taquitos specials. If you’re brave enough to share your talents, show up for open mic nights on Tuesdays, when you can also score six dollar burger specials on Burger Night. The Mug Club, which costs $75 to join and has about 150 members, gets you a free pre-planned dinner on Wednesday nights. There’s also happy hour and Blues Jams on Wednesdays. Thursday nights you can enjoy Wing Night with two-pound bucket of wings specials and beer for $10. Friday and Saturday nights, local and regional acts take the stage.

“The crowd changes per night. People think it’s just students but it’s not. A lot of people in the neighborhood come by,” said Kevin Rusk, owner. “There are so few live music venues around that people drive a bit for live music.”

Craft beer is now gaining popularity in Florida, but Titanic has been making their own brews since they opened nearly 15 years ago. You can always find about 10 on tap – six standard beers and four that change by the season. They brew about 90 seasonal beers.

Ladies-outsideSisters-insideA local staple, Town Kitchen+Bar has been serving up great food, hefty drinks, and an upscale atmosphere for nine years. Town is expanding into a new location next door, which will connect from the inside. Side Bar @ Town opens this month. This new venue will accommodate larger private parties, but run on its own with a bar, DJ, go-go dancers, and dance space that fills a void in South Miami’s nighlife scene. You can expect themed party nights at Side Bar @ Town, according to owner John Janette.

“If you’re standing still, you’re losing your edge,” said Janette about the new expansion to his current hot spot.

With the opening of Side Bar, Town will also be getting a new menu design, a few new food options and new server uniforms.

Ladies-inside-ToastThough there isn’t a designated dance space, Town’s patrons have been known to move tables and start dancing while the DJ is playing. For more laid back music, there is also live jazz during brunch on Sundays. Monday and Thursday nights guys can scope out the ladies, with Mondays’ Ladies night including two free drinks and half-off drinks all night. On Thursdays ladies get complimentary French champagne from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. and half-off signature martinis. Tuesdays you can enjoy half-off wine night, making it a great quiet date night. Wednesdays offers men the perfect excuse for a boys’ night out: BBQ and bourbon night. Rounding out the week, Friday nights find couples and friends gathering for a few drinks at the Outdoor bar with the popular bartender Liz.

“We treat our guests with genuine hospitality. We do this by remembering names, drinks and seating preferences,” said Janette.

Town isn’t the only one getting a makeover. Sunset Tavern’s recent renovations added a stage and large sliding windows that open to the outside patio. They’ve also added new TVs, a sound system, jukebox and photo booth combo, and are in the process of upgrading the bathrooms.

“You have to constantly reinvent yourself to stay hot,” said Jahn Kirchoff, owner.

Sunset Tavern’s  week of specials includes live jazz on Wednesdays and college night on Thursdays, with dollar drink specials on beer, wine, and well drinks, even if you don’t have a college ID Fridays bring live entertainment during happy hour, and on Saturdays you can expect music from a DJ or a live band. Brunchgoers are treated to  jazz on Sunday afternoons, and night owls can enjoy late-night happy hour specials on Sundays and Mondays from 10 p.m. – 3 a.m.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAGeorge’s on Sunset is also renovating with a new vibe that includes more disco lights, new menu design and food choices, and new uniforms for staff. Though some of their nightly specials are still in the works, owner Georges-Eric Farge plans to add a Thursday raw bar special and scotch night to his lineup. Friday nights will have a DJ spinning great tunes.  Georges attributes his new makeover to a need to refocus following two major life obstacles this past year – his mom was diagnosed with cancer and he went through a breakup — which he says gave him the push to come back and gain energy from his business.

“You need to be different to revive and stay alive,” said Georges.

George’s is known for their lively birthday celebrations. However, now you’ll really get the special treatment with a revamped birthday routine. You’ll be able to pick wigs and other trinkets to use for a photo during your “Get ready to rumble” birthday tune. The photos will be printed for you and will be posted on the eatery’s website. What’s a birthday without a present? Farge will be giving all birthday guests a special gift: toilet paper with his face printed on it wrapped in a bow. Don’t be surprised when you find it in the restaurant’s bathroom as well. He’ll also be adding his face to all printed receipts. And Farge is planning a divorce celebration for those who want to celebrate their settlements or new-found freedom.

ROK-BRG extROK:BRGR has a list of events that adds to the fun in South Miami, and some great meal deals to boot. Monday night’s Burger Bash specials feature $10 burgers and $4 craft beers. With those deals and football on the screens, there’s no doubt the man in your life will enjoy this night in heaven. For Wine Down Wednesdays, catch up with friends by enjoying great conversation and the tunes of a percussionist while sipping half-price champagne or wine. Those in the medical field have an extra mid-week perk with $5-$10 burger specials. Thursdays is the classic ladies night, offering half-off drinks 3 p.m. until close. On Saturday nights the DJ plays top 40 tunes. Come back for Sunday brunch with your girl and get free mimosas for the ladies and discounted drinks for guys. Happy hour is offered daily from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. with half-off any drink option, and if you’re hanging out at the bar, you get half-off appetizers, too. South Miami business owners receive 15 percent off their
bill daily.

With over forty craft beers to choose from, Rico Cruz, ROK:BRGR general manager, says bartenders will steer you to try something new. To keep the selections fresh, their menu changes three times a year.

“We are a hot spot, but also a staple. We aren’t going anywhere. We want to be around for the long haul,” said Cruz.

Brewskis, which opened late last year in the Cervezas location, is comparable to World of Beers but with a more intimate setting.  Beer lovers can call this place home, with their large craft beer selection and only a few commercial beer choices available.  Tuesdays you can find the Bingo crowd hanging out for entertainment, and on Fridays the real talent comes out for Song Writers night, where students and local artists showcase and perform their own music. Saturday night the established bands take over with live music.

On the first Tuesday of every month, Brewskis hosts Beer Tasting nights. For $20 you learn about and sample 15 different beers. Though each tasting is about four ounces, you are guaranteed to leave with a buzz as the choices include beers with eight to nine percent alcohol content. Pizza is served midway through the tasting for those participating.

“It’s a perfect date spot or pre-party place. You won’t be annoyed by loud music and can have conversations at any given time,” said General Manager Daniel Andrews.

boogies bailout bandNow for the true staple in South Miami, Bougainvillea’s, “Bougies,” as it’s known to locals. Though it’s been running as a bar since 2000, it was first built as a residence in the late 1920s, and has been recognized as an historical spot for its architecture and contributed ambiance to South Miami. You can find anyone from college kids to business men hanging out at Bougies, which means the atmosphere changes night-to-night, but it’s always a guaranteed good time.

Bougies game night will take you back to your college days with Play-YA Mondays. If you’re not currently enjoying the life of beer pong, Nintendo, board games, and free pizza, you can relive it on Monday nights. Wednesdays is ladies night, making it the place to be for single guys. Thursdays’ reggae night is one you can’t find at many of the other local bars. Ladies get free drinks both Wednesday and Thursday. House Party Friday features cover band music from the DJ outside and a band performing inside. Home Grown Saturdays features local talent, which is interesting because you never know what type of music you’re going to get.  Sunday nights features live acoustic music. Bands perform in what was once the bedroom of the original 1920s home, and though there’s no professional stage, the cozy feel adds to the ambiance.

“I’m really proud of what we created in the bedroom,” said Mike Romeu, Entertainment Director and Bar Manager. “There’s always the feel that you’re at your friend’s house hanging out.” Their daily happy hour, Four Hours of Happiness, will leave you in quite the good mood with 50 percent off well drinks. “It’s a very un-Miami place in Miami,” added Romeu when describing the laid back crowd that can be found here.

If karaoke is your thing, follow the local karaoke crowd nearly any night of the week as they exercise their vocal cords around town: on Sunday at Titanic, Monday at Sunset Tavern, Tuesday at Bougainvillea’s, Thursday at Brewskis, and Friday at Buffalo Wild Wings.

Popular trivia nights give you a chance to show off your random knowledge at Sports Grill and Sunset Tavern on Tuesdays and Buffalo Wild Wings on Wednesdays. Looking for something a litte unusual? Try Brewskies’ amped up Dirty Trivia, an adult-themed contest.

“In The Biz” specials are offered for those in the restaurant and bar business at Bougainvillea’s and Brewskis on Sunday.

Adding to this list of hot spots, Brother Jimmy’s BBQ will be joining the neighborhood in early 2014.

Still think a drive to downtown or the beach is required for good times and good music? South Miami is guaranteed to deliver
fun at any of these and other local hot spots. With great entertainment, music, food, and of course, delicious drinks, the SOMI nightlife scene awaits you.

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