From the moment Purdy Lounge opened its doors, everyone was welcome. What started as a neighborhood jazz bar in 2000 transformed into a home away from home almost instantly–speaking to every music geek, party hungry soul, and underground social butterfly in search of understanding. Or an escape from the “Miami” side of Miami, whichever came first. While they might have had a few makeovers over the 20 years it’s been open–replacing their trademark lava lamps and changing murals–the feeling of reckless abandon that only comes with a darkened, booze-happy, music-filled room still remains.
In case you haven’t heard, or began to mourn along with us, the quintessential Sunset Harbor hang is closing its doors on February 8th, much to the chagrin of basically everyone who ever experienced its unique charm. So, while we can dedicate this piece to being angry at Miami’s lack of solidarity to its most wonderful small businesses, we decided to make this piece an ode to the wacky world of Purdy Lounge and all it brought to us over the years:
While the rest of Miami Beach’s nightlife scene imposed the velvet ropes, guest list, over-priced drinks, and booming DJ policy, Purdy Lounge held up a huge middle finger to all that. From the very beginning, basically no one was turned away and everyone could find something fun to jam to every night of the week. Over the years, the bar might have needed some fixing after all that wear and tear, so long-time fans were excited to return and find a brand new system and light-up dance floor to keep the party going even into its last year.
Sobe Pocket Guide
No matter how far Purdy went down the road of having DJs, it was one of the few late-night lounges that always made sure that live music had a home. While the infamous Chocolate Sunday party thrown by Miami promoter Joel Meinholz and his production company, IAmYourVillian drew the masses (and even an impromptu Diplo performance) it was the weekly performances by local bands that kept us coming. Beloved names like Suenalo and Spam Allstars frequented the calendar, and first-time performers were given just as much respect as headliners. Former ska outfit, Made of Hemp had a start there, laughing at the fact that their high school classmates couldn’t get in to see the show.
Miami New Times
Owner Dan Binkiewicz created more than just a fun, chill hang. He created a pillar for the community. A place where misfits can feel comfortable and every taste is catered to. He supported the reggae community by hosting an ode to the culture every Monday night featuring favorite local bands like Jahfe, appearances by Stephen and Damian Marley, and partnerships with great collectives like Kulcha Shock. Music lovers knew that every Monday was a place to unwind and chill, and not just for those in the industry.
Over the years, it became apparent that while dance floor and bathroom hookups can be found at most alcohol serving establishments, Purdy Lounge exuded chemistry. We all know what went on in that back room and turned a blind eye, just another quirk in the Purdy personality. In fact, after the announcement of its upcoming final last call, Binkiewicz received an overwhelming outpour of love by every couple who shared a first kiss, connection and even engagement inside its walls. It’s crazy to think that there are kids attending high school today because of Purdy Lounge, and there are.
The Real Deal
And that’s just the kind of place that Binkiewicz and his team sought to create. That’s the soul behind the magic. It was Dan who fought–and won–for the name Purdy Avenue to stay after the city wanted to change it. It was Purdy Lounge that kept the stage up for local bands to stand a chance after the music scene lost venues like Grand Central, The Stage, and Bardot. While Binkiewicz has stated that it feels like the right time to close this chapter, Miami will be significantly devoid of color, fun, and kindness without it.
“They say all good things must come to an end. In this case something truly great is coming to an end. On February 8th we will be closing our doors. There is a lot you can do in 20 years, begin a new century, build a new business, develop a neighborhood, make new friends, strengthen bonds, dance, celebrate, cry, fall in love, and drink a few happy meals. We’ve covered all of it, but like we said all good things must come to an end, and with gratitude and thanks to 20 years of parties we say goodbye to Purdy Lounge.” Dan Binkiewicz
Thank you for everything you’ve given us, we only hope to do you justice.