Churchill's Pub Owner Dave Daniels Accepts Offer to Sell

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George Martinez

In Churchill's Pub, Dave Daniels established and maintained a safe space for musical and artistic expression, the watching of international soccer games, and drinking heavily in the heart of Little Haiti for 35 years. But, at 74, Daniels tells us: "It's time for me to move on."

An undisclosed investor put in an offer to purchase the business. Though Daniels has accepted the offer, the sale is by no means final. After much talk and failed attempts to sell over the years, it seems the universe just might be ready to let Daniels off the hook this time. We spoke with him about the possible changes coming for one of the best live music venues in the world, ever.

UPDATE The sale of Churchill's Pub has just been finalized, according to founder Dave Daniels.

The bar has undergone its share of changes and challenges, including extensive road repairs out front that made lunchtime business impossible, and an influx, then cessation of location fees for movies and videos. "Because I have been trying to keep people coming, I haven't put the prices up. Some you could regard as competition charge twice as much (for drinks)," Daniels says. Keeping his business profitable in this way has made it a more attractive property.

The prospective buyer has 60 days due-diligence, so he could pull out anytime before, while Daniels is now locked into the agreement. If the deal falls through, another option is that a group could lease Churchill's -- and folks have planned for this over the years, people joining forces and finances in an attempt to purchase and preserve the place -- but that would require Daniels to remain involved. He doesn't really want to deal with the City anymore.

But with the increased interaction he's had with the possible new owner, Daniels offers hope for a continued Churchill's-like presence. "I think that they are going to make less changes than initially I thought they were going to." They have a good team, he says, and likely a popular local restauranteur to set-up shop food-wise. Churchill's used to feed about 30 people for lunch, did outside catering, and deliveries at one point. "I think it'll be moving in that direction," he says, but reminds, "it's entirely up to them."

We can only hope that these "them" have as fine a mind and ear as Daniels. "There are so many things about Churchill's that work. Even though nobody else does them..." he chuckles, "So, it's unique. I basically said to them before last week, the International Noise Conference, it's very good. It's profitable now. Like 15 years ago, when Rat started doing his noise stuff here it was a handicap. I mean, they drove people out! But freedom of expression had to prevail. It turned into something special. People come from all over the world."

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Churchill's Pub

5501 NE 2nd Ave., Miami, FL

Category: Music


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71 comments
Digital_Dream
Digital_Dream

I don't know whether (a) to cry about the fact that we may lose Churchill's, a community, and Miami institution for local bands and others who don't follow the mainstream "top 40", hip-hop, auto-tuned pop, reggaeton, and rap being put out on every radio station, or (b) shake my head in disgust and contempt for all those whose sole comment on here is "will they now clean/remodel the bathrooms?"  

Clearly, those people have no concept of what Churchill's stands for, which is ironic, as Churchill's has embraced people of all walks of life, with open arms, and these are the same people who couldn't care less if Churchill's dies tomorrow because of something as trivial as a restroom, where you spend 5 minutes taking a leak.  Why don't you just stay home in your antiseptic bubbles? 

Carlos Paino
Carlos Paino

NO!!!! I'm having my birthday party there!

Rick Amador
Rick Amador

In case you miised it...Churchill's Pub exsistance has always been uncertain. ..that neighborhood. ..jeez!

Ferras Melanie
Ferras Melanie

First place I went to [way] underage... I hope it remains, despite the pending sale.

gumsandals
gumsandals

I'm gonna miss the Dave Daniel's Churchill Show. Been missing Alex ever since she left. Remember her? The Manchester barmaid with the great tats? She and Churchill's inspired this way back in 2006 after a night of partying at the pub: http://bit.ly/1bt39RW Last I heard she's working on an oil rig off of the Texas coast (she's a freaking geologic engineer for crying out loud). Been missing curry night, too. WHO CHANGED THE RECIPE? I wish Dave good luck and must say, I can't believe the dude is 74 years old.

ecalnews
ecalnews

regurlar joes are so stupid, reading those comments means Churchill's will be sold and transformed into another tgfriday kind of box, or a revolution one, just because people dont like rawness. idiots anyways, thats why i like to go to Churchills, because i dont see them.

marcos.moure
marcos.moure

 So long Churchill's.


I spent a lot of "misspent" hours in this place. Saw many amazing bands, drank gallons of cheap beer, and hung with a lot of cool people. We even saw a voodoo-entranced (i.e., zombie) black woman shuffling in a stupor by the parking lot. Disturbing. It was a place that welcomed everyone and you never felt that you had to belong to a punk clique or a metal clique or a goth circle. At least that's how I felt. I once wrote an article for my ill-fated 90's zine (scrape) that pissed off Dave Daniels (don't remember why now), but I called the place an oasis of cheap beer and a fountain of musical diversity and freedom stemming from geographic isolation. 

I meant that in Miami we owned a certain weirdness because we were literally far from the path of many touring bands. Many would not venture down here, Central and North Florida maybe, but anything south of that, nope. Things may be different now, but I wanted people to see the advantage of "growing up" in isolation and making that a positive, not just wanting to be part of a scene with prescribed uniforms and attitudes of punk, grunge or whatever. We did have a scene. It just wasn't easy to categorize. And I thought that was awesome. Churchill's was at the center of all that. It fostered complete creative freedom. A rarity. Anyone could get on that miniscule stage and do, say or play whatever the hell they wanted.

Was this our very own CBGBs? I don't know, but whatever Churchill's was, it's no more. 

stopmiami.danny
stopmiami.danny

Dave Daniels is God! I miss you brother, and wish you the best. Good times ahead, my man!

stopmiami.danny
stopmiami.danny

Dave Daniels is God! I miss you brother, and wish you the best. Good times ahead, my man!

Nicole Murcia
Nicole Murcia

Regina Cecilia Castañeda this means we have to go before it changes.

Ryan Barry
Ryan Barry

The bathrooms keep out the undesirable crowd!!! Keep 'em nasty!!!!

Eduardo Castillo
Eduardo Castillo

Back in the days CAMEO THEATER@ Miami Beach was the place for punk and hardcore bands to play. From legends like Exploited and Agnostic Front to local bands like Chocolate Grasshoppers and Quit, miss that place like crazy. ..hopefully the same thing will not happen to Churchill's.

Mark Erdman
Mark Erdman

Churchills gets bought out and all people care about is where they can pee without getting their designer shoes dirty

Jacob Almeida
Jacob Almeida

Little by little Miami is losing all of it's legendary local music spots =(

Bernadette Greaves
Bernadette Greaves

Its my birthday on Feb 15 and I want free Blondie tickets!!!!!!!!PLZZZZZZZZZ

Juan R. Pollo
Juan R. Pollo

I hope the new owners realize that all it needs is safe parking. Less is more.

Vanessa Black
Vanessa Black

Hopefully it means they'll have clean bathrooms so I actually feel like going.

Digital_Dream
Digital_Dream

@marcos.moure  Definitely was as close as we ever got, and ever will get, to a similar concept to CBGB, especially in Miami.  We can only hope the new owner doesn't say "to hell with this scene" and make it into some yuppie store, a la Van Dyke.

Digital_Dream
Digital_Dream

Amen.  So sad that people have lost sight of what this truly was: a Miami institution for local bands to get exposure and for us, the locals, to get to enjoy some quality music among friends.  All people can think about is a damn bathroom? How about using the bathroom before leaving home? Or go puke out on the street.  

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