Miami is nothing if not a mecca for nightlife. Bars, clubs, lounges, pubs – this city's got them all, and in spades.
Most of the usual hot spots are found on South Beach, in downtown or in the more vibrant, freshly happening neighborhoods of Midtown and Wynwood.
But now, Little Havana is opening itself up to a new crowd drawn in by the recently renovated Ball & Chain nightclub.
People come from all over Miami and all walks of life to have delicious cocktails and dance all night — Photo courtesy of Ball & Chain
Ball & Chain is the dose of laid-back class that Miami has been in need of for some time. It leaves the pretension to the velvet ropes of South Beach, the overt hipster vibe to Wynwood, the yuppie factor to Brickell's bars and the college frat style to Thursdays in the Grove.
Then it rounds up everyone who simply wants to have a good time – dressed to the nines or dressed in their favorite T-shirt and jeans – and gives them well-crafted mojitos and pepe or Bertha Collins (their take on the classic Tom). And, finally, it blasts some of the greatest sounding jazz, salsa and funk jams in Miami, to put a fire under everyone's feet.
Ball & Chain maintains old-school charm for a brand new audience — Photo courtesy of Ball & Chain
In a similar style to the neighboring Hoy Como Ayer nightclub and reminiscent of the heyday of the former Transit Lounge, Ball & Chain is a celebration of Miami in the best sense. They bring in quality DJs and musical acts that range from Palo! and DJ Andie Sweetswirl to Haitian Hillbilly and Locos Por Juana.
First opened in 1935, Ball & Chain has undergone numerous changes in both ambiance and ownership. The old saloon that serviced the Tamiami Trail later became a hot spot for legends like Billie Holiday and Chet Baker, as well as a hub for serious gambling in Miami.
Then, in the '50s and '60s, it was known as the Copa Lounge Tavern. And following the influx of Cuban exiles in the late '60s, it became the Futurama furniture shop.
Live music is the biggest draw to this hip new joint on Calle Ocho — Photo courtesy of Ball & Chain
All of this, however, was prelude to what is now a burgeoning hot spot of live music and late-night dancing. While there are dozens of clubs in Miami, few offer the kind of ambiance and variety that's found at Ball & Chain.
It's the type of place where you can take salsa lessons one night, sing karaoke the next and have a ball with your best gal pals the following night. And the best thing is that each night will feel completely different than the next.
If you're tired of the same old same old and you're in need of good drinks and great times, then Ball & Chain is where it's at.