Among the glitzy night clubs and ritzy restaurants of South Beach, you'll find one of the oldest and most well-beloved bars in all of Miami.
Maybe you'll be walking past on your way to grab lunch at La Sandwicherie across the street. Or perhaps it'll be toward the end of a long evening of bar-hopping with hostelers on Espanola.
Either way, the bright neon lights will call out to you just as they beckon barflies from all over. In flickering green and pink: Mac's Club Deuce.
Between sips of Jameson, do a little people watching, hit the jukebox, play a game of pool or maybe get a little work done at the bar — Photo courtesy of Phillip Pessar
Situated between tourist-heavy Collins Avenue and quasi-seedy Washington Avenue, "the Deuce" (as it's more affectionately known) is the SoBe locals' preferred place to escape the perpetual summer sun.
Indeed, the bar is dark as dark can be, with walls painted black and low lighting contrasted by the occasional bit of neon. Seriously, neon rules at the Deuce, and it's done so for decades.
Walk through the double doors, and grab a seat at the wooden bar. Make yourself comfortable. There's not a bad seat in the house.
Order a drink, like a whiskey on the rocks or a beer, and tip your bartender well.
If it's between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m., you'll get two drinks for the price of one, making this one of the cheapest places to catch a buzz on the beach.
From there, the choice is yours what to do next. Start a conversation with someone at the bar. There's almost always someone willing to chat, maybe even the bartender.
Between college-age tourists who stumbled in here looking for an actual club, down-and-out gamblers looking for a drink, ex-politicians hiding their face in vodka and Bukowskiesque writers looking for inspiration, there's a good chance you'll find a few good characters to talk to.
Mac's Club Deuce is a dive inside and out – but it's definitely the best of its kind — Photo courtesy of Phillip Pessar
But maybe you're more the silent type. That's fine, too.
Grab some quarters and get in on a game of pool. Or walk on over to the jukebox and play your favorite Led Zeppelin track a few times; someone's bound to enjoy it with you.
And you can always just listen in on the stories other folks tell at this place. If the walls here could talk, they'd surely never shut up about what's gone down at the Deuce for the past 80-plus years.
First built in 1926, the bar popped up during Prohibition, serving folks the stiff drinks they needed to deal with booze being illegal.
Current owner Mac Klein purchased the joint during the 1960s, after the original owner passed away, and added his name to the original Club Deuce.
More than 50 years later, it's barely changed, likely due to Mac still being the owner.
If you're a dive bar fan, this is certainly the place for you. But even if you tend to opt more for the luxury of the Ocean Drive hot spots, you'd be doing yourself a disservice not to at least stop in for a quick drink at one of Miami's most historic watering holes.
Make sure to bring cash (or hit their ATM, if you must) and maybe a designated driver. At Mac's, it's usually smart to plan ahead; you never know what can happen.
And that's a good thing.