Tobacco Road's 101st Anniversary: "Badass Bands, and Great Locals All the Time"
Jacob Katel Upstairs at the Road, room full of soul.
Tobacco Road is so old that when it first opened way back in 1912 there were only 48 U.S. states.
So old that when Abraham Lincoln turned 18, he hitchhiked to Miami and had his first beer there. (OK, that's a lie.)
So old that Miccosukees canoeing the Miami River from the Everglades used to stop in for burgers and beer. And 101 years later, it's still one of the best places in Miami to grab some bar food and cold brews.
Juke's Eric "Uncle Scotchy" Garcia
The Road's talent buyer Eric "Uncle Scotchy" Garcia from the band Juke remembers sneaking into the club when he was just 18 years old. "Me and my buddy were, like, little blues heads. We used to get in however we could, just to hear the music."
In those days, Iko Iko ruled the Road, and B.B. King used to jam for hours on the second-floor stage. (In fact, King recorded his biggest hit, "The Thrill Is Gone" with Bill Szymczyk in Miami.) And though the blues scene here has faded, Tobacco Road intends to survive another century.
"I'm working to get our respect back, musically," says Garcia. "Any given night, whatever type of band you hear, it's gonna be good. I'm bringing badass bands from all over the country, and great locals all the time."
Even the club's odd historical footnotes are fascinating. The chunks chopped out of the bar top came courtesy of an escapee from a house for the criminally insane that was once on the same street, and the Tobacco Road sign hanging over the front door hasn't been fixed since Hurricane Andrew.
So, whether you're a regular or a newbie, come celebrate this brothel-turned-speakeasy-turned-roadhouse, those decades of down 'n' dirty tunes, and all of the strange stories at Tobacco Road's 101st Anniversary Bash, a New Orleans-style funk cookout with an endless-whiskey VIP tent and meat-carving stations. General admission includes five bands and, beginning at 6 p.m., 101 cent drinks for 101 minutes.