Transit Lounge Owner Will Edwards Addresses Club's Sudden Closure

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Early Sunday afternoon, we here at Crossfade reported that First Avenue boozing spot and music venue Transit Lounge had been "gutted" and shuttered over the weekend.

Unlike Transit's near-demise in April, employees and regulars received no advance notice. There was no official explanation. And after several attempts to contact him by phone, we still had no word from the club's owner, Will Edwards.

But then yesterday, Edwards addressed the club's sudden closure with a lengthy blog comment that began, "Dear Miami New Times ..."

In Sunday's post, we noted the admittedly strange circumstances surrounding Transit's final hours, including the deletion of the venue's Facebook page, while also relaying bartender Elena S. Davila's account of the closure, which included accusations of mismanagement and neglect.

Of course, the club's owner did not appreciate that version of things. And he fired back against New Times. "Of all the articles [about Transit] you have covered, I have never commented, regardless of others' comments or incorrect allegations," he wrote. "This time, however, is different."

He then went into a long retelling of the Transit story and its recent struggle to stay in business despite "the economy," pressure from "a multinational developer," mortgage woes, Brickell's changing demographics, and "employee theft and childish gossip."

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Finally, he expressed regret to Transit's former staff ("I understand the anger of the staff, and I apologize that it was done abruptly and without notice") before turning his attention to Ms. Davila.

"If you want to criticize me go ahead," Edwards wrote. "Have your best shot and believe me you are nothing compared to the multinational developers and their teams of lawyers that I have fought and beat."

"However, when you start criticizing a new business in one of the most difficult economic climates ever, you are hurting people that you don't even know. It's immature, selfish and, frankly, borderline libelous."

"I have hired several of the Transit staff to come over to my new ventures and have already given several letters of reccomendation," he continued. "I will call more this week but clearly there are some that I will not call. Yes Elena your are one that I will not be calling but I sincerely do wish you the best."

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Later on Monday afternoon, we also spoke with Edwards by phone, hoping for further insight into the situation that led to Transit's closure -- not to mention those cryptic references to "employee theft" as well as the future of his previously announced nightclub project, Avenue D Jazz & Blues Lounge, in Downtown Miami.

But Edwards wasn't especially interested in submitting to an in-depth interview. "I really don't want to get into much of this," he insisted. "I said what I really need to say on my [blog] comments."

However, he was extremely upset over "violent and threatening" reader feedback. "It's absolutely out of control," Edwards seethed. "It's a shitty situation. But the long and short of it is it's a bar that went out of business. It's not the end of the world."

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On the demise of Transit, he would only say, "It's a situation where the rumors got out and everybody thought that Transit was already closed. The rumor mill is just out of control, and based in hypothesis and not in fact."

Beyond that, Edwards said, "Honestly, it's a chapter in my life that's over. I don't want to keep talking about it. I don't want to harp on it. I don't want to create more fodder for these people who've lost their jobs, who I sincerely feel bad for."

As far as Avenue D, the project is apparently still in progress. (It remains listed on the official Sprockets & Co website under "venues" and its official website continues to proclaim "Coming Soon To Downtown.") But Edwards refuses to comment on his Jazz and Blues Lounge's status, saying, "I'm not even going to address it. I don't even want to talk about anything else that I'm doing. No way."

"What's relevant now is Transit, getting people jobs, and making sure everybody's taken care of," Edwards concludes. "That's the focus. Not anything else."

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Location Info

Map

Transit Lounge - CLOSED

729 SW First Ave., Miami, FL

Category: Music

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14 comments
Suenalo
Suenalo

Carlos from the band Suenalo here. The check of our last show there (July 2011) bounced, and they played games with us month after month, promising they would pay us and send a check. Even Will promised he would pay when I spoke with him in October 2011. It never happened. Will Edwards simply took a crap on everybody. Now the company that issued the check (Miami Transit Lounge) is gone. Good luck trying to get any money from this guy or his Sprockets & Co company.

EddieOc
EddieOc

Wow what a bunch of crap. Surprised he is not getting sued, purely a bunch of crap

ExTRansit Employee
ExTRansit Employee

Another reason why Will is a jerk face poopy mouth! This is a quote from the NewTimes Article talking about the new ownership of Transit Lounge or as they will call it. Blackbird Ordinary..."There're a few violations [the previous owner] incurred." Binkiewicz says. The preexisting outdoor stage and bar were built without permits, which means he'll have to tear everything down and start from scratch.Nonetheless, Binkiewicz is very excited about his new venture and he can't wait to open. 

ExTRansit Employee
ExTRansit Employee

Another reason why Will is a jerk face poopy mouth!"There're a few violations [the previous owner] incurred." Binkiewicz says. The preexisting outdoor stage and bar were built without permits, which means he'll have to tear everything down and start from scratch.Nonetheless, Binkiewicz is very excited about his new venture and he can't wait to open. 

XX
XX

Sad to hear that Transit is no longer with us, happy to hear that Will Edwards has failed at something else.  WEdwards was a pompous a-hole when my company briefly worked with him...he should eat a slice of humble pie and apologize to the staff he left high and dry. 

Stephen
Stephen

You know, just so you know Will Edwards never had some decency is all. Its kind of sad. He constantly called Transit Lounge employees family. If thats how he treats his family, well I thank God I had my parents and not Will. It doesn't really matter. He lives with himself day in and day out.

Side note: Will, I showed up to about half a dozen meetings you threw. You never knew who I was but asked time and again what I did. When you had suggestions on how to improve Transit I said: Have a night for Firefighters, Police, and Military. You claimed to love the idea.Said you had friends in the Fire Department and the Police Department. Never did anything with it. I even offered to get some former military friends to come by. You truly didn't care about Transit did you? Like you really didn't. I promise you a weekend of drunk firefighters, cops and vets would do far better than Kork ever will. Will just one question. Aside from the cute little painting pictures I saw you use for Sprockets .com...... what have you ever accomplished yourself? Honestly. Please.... tell me something that you, as a man, have done without any family money and completely on your own.

Mark
Mark

Taking on the developers was the first mistake. The largest condo complex in Miami is scheduled to go up behind it and they will have their preferred access to the parking garages. You can bank on that!

laura
laura

Just wanted to say hi to all my fellow ex coworkers, and the most kick ass regulars known to man from transit lounge. Hope everyone is pullin through alright and in between freakin out about not having that income, I hate to say it but Im gonna miss that crazy disfunction a little bit. I guess cause between us and everyone who came and went, made a sort of family to me. I met and laughed with a hell of alot of people I never would've ever talked to because of that damned place. So at the risk of sounding positive in a situation that screws the pooch, I am grateful for that.                                                                               

Atlastfinallyfree
Atlastfinallyfree

Of course he is "seething". Of course it's not the end of the world.  Just find new people to mistreat, underpay, and exploit. Then ruin their lives as well.  He wants to move on from this "chapter in his life" that is over.   Completely understandable that he doesnt even want to speak of Avenue D or anything else he has coming up.  He under estimates the people of Miami and he underestimates all the heads and families he's stepped on along the way.  Eventually this will all blow over, people will move on, forget what he did and he will rise back to the top once again.   Sorry Will Edwards, people dont forget that easy it will probably require a name change, maybe some plastic surgery and maybe a move, far FAR away. For sure he might consider a career change.  Someone like him should have ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with any part of the hospitality or service industry! By the way. The hospitality industry is a small, tight knit community. Everyone knows everyone. In case he hasn't figured that out yet. From the liquor reps, musicians, artists, chefs, line cooks,managers, servers, barbacks, bartenders, security and regular customers. What a long and varied list of enemies for one to have.

Amarilys Sanchez
Amarilys Sanchez

He responded because he know word of mouth can ruin his new business venture. It seems to me he doesn't care about anybody but his money!!!

Mikey Steel
Mikey Steel

LAURA I HAVE YOUR POOL STICK!!!!!!!!

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