Food & Drink

These are Miami's 7 best (?) Bad Decision Bars

Published On 01/14/2014 Published On 01/14/2014
Bad Decision Bars Thrillist

People in South Florida have been making bad decisions since someone said, “Hey, let’s build a city on the edge of an alligator-and-mosquito-infested swamp”, but Miami's "Bad Decision Bars" -- the kind of place you go for just one drink and wind up losing your dignity and at least one item of clothing -- are taking it to a whole new level. Here are the seven best (worst?):


Brother Jimmy’s BBQ
When you put a Southern-themed bar in the second most densely-populated area south of Manhattan, it's bound to attract every former frat guy for miles, most of whom have totally grown out of pounding domestics and asking girls up to their dorm to watch Storage Wars. Now they pound domestics and ask girls up to their condo to watch Storage Wars.

Mac's club deuce

Mac’s Club Deuce
South Beach
If you’re the type of person who enjoys a happy hour that starts at eight in the morning, then you'll probably make a shton of bad decisions whether or not you step foot inside this smoke-filled dive -- once you do, however, said bad decisions will probably include thinking that you can beat a man in polyester pants at pool, or that the bartender won't eighty-six you for playing Aerosmith on the jukebox, or that a "few" more drinks couldn't hurt any worse than the hard wooden barstools.

The Playwright

The Playwright Irish Pub
South Beach
Bummed because you got turned away at Mansion? Even more bummed because you got turned down AGAIN at Cameo? Oh, look what’s right in the middle….an Irish bar where Coors Light pitchers are just $10, and where all the girls who ALSO got turned away are sucking down Boddingtons and miserably telling you how everyone in Miami is shallow and stupid? Hell no! Get these sloppy chicks away from us! Yes, please!


Sandbar Sports Grill
Coconut Grove
That Freon that drips from the A/C onto your head might be to blame for your embarrassing decision to dance on top of a lifeguard chair covered in spilled draft beer -- not quite as embarrassing as being in one of the  “adult feature films” that have been shot inside, or having your name on the wall for finishing five pounds of burrito, but still.

Club Space

Club Space
It's possible that the decisions you make at Club Space at 2 in the afternoon on a Sunday aren't really that bad. It's also possible that they're utterly terrible, and you can't tell the difference because you've been here dancing/drinking since the sun came up, and are, presumably, a little Spaced out.

Tavern in the Grove
Coconut Grove
If you could take every bad decision you made in college and stuff it into a tiny bar along with 400 of your best friends, minimal A/C, no walking space, and septic bathrooms, you have Tavern in the Grove. Playing beer pong right next to a men’s room with perpetually overrun toilets? Check. Going home with a girl who openly told you she goes to Ransom/Gulliver/Palmer Trinity? Check. Challenging the entire UM offensive line to a fight because they refused to pay for a pitcher for said beer pong game? Check, and thank you Jeremy Shockey for keeping that from going any further. Perhaps the only person who ever made a good decision at the ‘Vern was the guy who bought it last Fall, closed it, and finally fixed those men’s room toilets.


Ted’s Hideaway
South Beach
There is apparently a hole in the universe on the corner of 2nd St and Collins Ave in South Beach where time passes at, like, quintuple the speed it does elsewhere. This would be the only explanation of how “going to Ted’s for a quick drink” at 11p on a Tuesday ends up with you going to work Wednesday feeling like your head just got crushed between Ronnie Coleman’s forearms. On a cruise ship. That, or the all-girl bar staff flirts enough that you can't help but order another drink.

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1. The Playwright Irish Pub & Restaurant 1265 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139 (South Beach)

Nestled between Mansion and Cameo, The Playwright serves up traditional Irish bar food and has plenty of specials on pitchers of brews. Although this bar can get a little wild on Friday and Saturday night, there is something unforgettable about its grittiness and untamed debauchery. Needless to say, it's the perfect place to let loose.

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2. Mac's Club Deuce 222 14th St, Miami Beach, FL 33139 (Miami Beach)

I’m going to be honest, if Playboy names a bar one of the best in America, I would blindly agree. Mac’s Club Deuce really is, though, and not only because it’s withstood the ever-changing tides of Miami nightlife, but because it hasn’t conformed to the glitz or glam of its peers and still remains one of the greatest dive bars in the country. The black-tiled, neon-lit bar stands today as it did in 1926 when it opened, just a touch more worn and beer-soaked. Mac’s is open from 8am until dawn the next day, and during a large chunk of that (11 hours, to be exact), regulars post up for two-for-one happy hour, because at Mac’s, more than just one hour is happy -- 11 of them are.

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3. Sandbar Sports Grill 3064 Grand Ave, Coconut Grove, FL 33133 (Coconut Grove)

The Grove's Sandbar's loaded with 24 plasmas, two massive big-screens, indoor and outdoor bars, and plenty of drink specials. Considering this place is the "home of the fish taco", it may be the only winning Fish you see all season.

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4. Club Space 34 NE 11th St, Miami, FL 33132 (Downtown)

This over-the-top club is located in a multi-story warehouse, and comes complete with live DJs and a rooftop terrace. Thanks to its 24-hours license, lots of lasers, and pretty lights, the after-after-after-hours club is Miami's greatest freak show, and likely the only 10+-year-old club that can lay claim to such subsisting fame.

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5. Tavern In The Grove 3416 Main Hwy, Coconut Grove, FL 33133 (Coconut Grove)

A dive bar that embraces its simplicity, Tavern in the Grove is a great spot to grab a beer, play darts, and enjoy a happy hour.

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6. Ted's Hideaway 124 2nd St, Miami Beach, FL 33139 (South Beach)

Whether you're stopping by for happy hour specials or to watch the game, this dive bar's got your bases covered.

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7. Brother Jimmy's BBQ 900 S Miami Avenue, Suite 135, Miami, FL 33130 (Brickell)

When the Brother Jimmy’s gods tell you to “Put some South in yo’ mouth,” you do not say no. The New York-based one-stop-shop for inexpensive beers and Southern fare splits its food menu equally between saucy barbecue specialities and fried delights. Hush puppies, fried pickles, hot wings anchor the starters, while fried spiced catfish and Dixie hoe cakes stand out among the non-BBQ entrées. Of course, it's a rarity to come here and not order barbecue, and luckily the platters of sliced brisket, Carolina pulled pork, and baby back ribs do not disappoint.



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