Busting a mission (if this phrase isn't in your vocab, see BuzzFeed's "How Miami Are You, Bro?") to keep abreast of Miami's cultural offerings is a regular pastime of any suburban dweller. Though a good number of our city's famed music venues are either downtown or on the Beach, these stressful treks from the 'burbs entail serious mental preparation to deal with the traffic warfare.
Before you let the suburban isolation set in, consider this: Chances are you've overlooked some great venues that are right in your backyard. From Kendall to Coral Gables, here are Miami-Dade's five best spots to catch live music close to you.
1. Bougainvillea's Old Florida Tavern. At first glance, this unsuspecting bar on SW 58th Avenue looks like a wooden cottage hidden in the middle of South Miami. Known to locals as Bougie's, this dark and homey neighborhood spot presents local talent ranging from rock to reggae and hip-hop Tuesday through Sunday. The comfy concert nook to the right of the bar, also known as the living room, is a great spot to enjoy intimate live performances. With plenty of places to relax at the bar, a quaint front yard/courtyard, and spacious back patio, this lush watering hole is ideal for an after-work visit. Don't miss the giant Jenga blocks out back. 7221 SW 58th Ave., South Miami; 305-669-8577; bougiesbar.com.
2. Lincoln's Beard Brewing Company. This Goliath-sized brewery in the Bird Road Arts District has quickly become a local haunt for beer enthusiasts because of its great selection, laid-back vibes, friendly bartenders, and stacked calendar of events. The brewery boasts indoor and outdoor seating, a food truck out back, and a giant Abe Lincoln mural. Those who love live music as much as a refreshing cold one should swing by Thursday through Saturday to catch local bands perform in the main room. For optimal views of the show, grab a seat at one of the barrel tables. Check the brewery's Instagram page for the weekly music lineup. 7360 SW 41st St., Miami; 305-912-7390; lincolnsbeardbrewing.com.
3. Lucid Gallery. Tucked into a warehouse deep in West Kendall lies a gallery that's an underground oasis of sorts. Sure, some of the best subcultural happenings take place in warehouses, but this all-ages spot is special. Although the events seem to be few and far between, this under-the-radar spot presents passionate local artists and bands. Be sure to peruse the art in the venue's side room while awaiting live sets in the main room. In true suburban fashion, the party usually spills into the parking lot, and you're bound to run into that one kid you knew in elementary school. 13331 SW 132nd Ave., Miami; facebook.com/lucidgallery.
4. Open Stage Club. Located in Coral Gables, this gastropub has a mission to "enable exploration, help artists grow, and find their motivation," according to Open Stage Club's site. The state-of-the-art facility boasts a proper stage that hosts live music almost every night of the week. But this isn't your typical sticky-floored, sweaty, standing-room-only hangout. Instead, music lovers can enjoy dinner and a relaxing night of entertainment in the comfort of their own table. There's also additional outdoor seating and a full bar located near the front of the lounge. Don't miss the guitars hanging on the wall when you walk in. Check out the calendar of events here. 2325 Galiano St., Coral Gables; 305-441-7902; openstageclub.com.
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5. Jada Coles. This no-frills neighborhood bar on Coral Way is where you go to experience local music in a really intimate way. You'll find a crowd of regulars chatting at the bar after the grueling 9-to-5. The dark and cozy dive offers live music every Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday at 10 p.m. If you're looking to quench your thirst in the breeze — and by breeze, we mean fans — step onto the bar's front patio and grab a seat under the canopy, where you can watch sports on the big screen or play pool. 2845 Coral Way, Miami; 786-391-3701; jadacolesofficial.com