Naturally, much of Miami's charm lies in its glitzy, fast-paced nightclub environment. It can be quite a rush to stagger into one club or bar after another, filling up you senses with thumping music, flashing lights, post-modern décor, and the smell of dancing humanity. Even so, sometimes it's nice to have a neighborhood bar to go to ? somewhere where the music isn't loud, the decorations are subdued, and most of the people don't look like genetic experiments. Though I don't really like the "Cheers" archetype of this (having everybody know your name would be a bit creepy for me), the idea is a solid one: you should find a bar to go to when you want a break from the flash. Luckily, there are a few places still like this in Miami, and I'll go over a few of them.
One of my favorites is a bar in South Miami called Fox's Sherron Inn. This is a very interesting little place that, I gather, really hasn't changed since 1946 (it hasn't changed in the years I've been here, anyway). It looks like a bar should look: dark woods and subdued lighting. I wouldn't necessarily call it a dive bar, but with a touch seedier atmosphere, it could could certainly pass as one.
My favorite part of this place are the frequent two-for-one specials. They have excellent cocktails, though I've seen better beer selections. The food they serve is great for pub-fare (without loosing any of its pubby character).
Another good little place, located right on Miami Beach, is the Abbey Brewing Company. The best part of this place is without a doubt the beer selection. For those of you who like their beer (contrary to popular belief, not everyone on South Beach loves cocktails that taste like candy) the Abbey's selection cannot be beat.
They feature a large number of microbrews and European imports, as well as well as their own brews (most of which are perfectly serviceable). All in all, a great place to have a beer. If cocktails are your thing, you might want to avoid it ? I don't think they have a liquor license.
Last up, a little place in Coconut Grove that is becoming semi-trendy (still a nice, honest place, though): the Tavern in the Grove.
Located in (surprise, surprise) Coconut Grove, it features stiff drinks and cheap prices (order by the pitcher for maximum booze for your buck), which naturally makes it a gathering spot for kids from the University of Miami . They feature pool and darts as well, and they have a good juke-box selection to boot. It can be a little crowded here (especially on weekends), but it isn't the same crowd that you find in a South Beach club.
All in all, this is a great place to go if you aren't afraid of crowds, and you just want a bar without the glitz and a stiff drink..Nick Jurkowski is the senior editor for Millenium Limo where he educates the public about the limousine services they offer, as well as the bounty of Miami's nightlife.
While they aren't as numerous, it's perfectly easy to find a "regular bar" in Miami. If you don't like my selections, there are plenty more, nestled in tiny oases of normalcy ? sheltered from the vast, glitzy, desert of clubs and bars that induce sensory overload. I wish you all the best in your quest to get loaded in a place you can call your own.
By: Nick W. Jurkowski