Railroad Blues Opening in Downtown Miami: "There's Not Gonna Be Any Shit Music"


Every serious music lover dreams of opening a live-music bar.

The chance to program and design your own venue, every week, six days out of seven, is the life. Sure, it can be tough, but fellow fans will recognize the quality and appreciate your vision.

That's what Steam Miami owner Russ Bruce is betting on with Railroad Blues, a new NE 14th Street speakeasy-style venue and drinking spot, celebrating its no-charge soft opening this weekend.

C'mon, the first one is always free.

See also: Steam Miami: A Photo Tour of Downtown's First Interactive Nightclub


Bruce has spent his entire life chasing the best music across the country. In the 6th grade, he fell in love to Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band's Night Moves. He cock-rocked with the best of them as a teen. And he lived in Seattle during the '90s. As he aged, he found himself drawn to the blues, seeking out jukes and dive on his many travels.

"I've always looked up where's the blues bar, because that seems to be the place to find the best music," Bruce says. "But Miami doesn't have one. If we're gonna be a real city, I think Miami needs a good blues bar."

Railroad Blues will take up residence at 30 NE 14th Street, the space formerly occupied by PS14, OHWOW's Bar, and ex-Vagabond owner Carmel Ophir's Barfly. It is also in the same building as Steam, which inhabits The Vagabond's old location.

To program the music, Bruce has enlisted the help of talent buyer Eric Garcia, a man with tons of booking experience at beloved venues like The Stage and Tobacco Road.

"The one thing Russ is insistent upon is that anything we have up there will be high quality, there's not gonna be any shit music on the stage," Garcia says, though he admits it can't be all blues all the time.

"He wants live music six nights out of the week. Even if we wanted to, there's not enough traditional blues bands to go around."

So there will also be rock 'n' roll, R&B, rockabilly -- anything as long as it's founded in the blues tradition and meets the "not shit" standard.

See also: Miami's Five Best Music Venues for Local Acts

Location Info


Railroad Blues

30 NE 14th St., Miami, FL

Category: Music

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My Voice Nation Help

Yay! real live music spot. This city has always gotten a bad rap on its music culture, but as someone who has grown and lived his entire life here, I say that Miami has always been full of clubs that say they wanna do live music but in reality just wanna make a quick buck, so the DJ set and the overloading with crappy bands becomes their business model. We have plenty of talented musicians and bands, its time we had venues to match. 


yes I too will echo that sentiment... for the love of no shit music, no dj sets PLEASE!

Kat Riggins
Kat Riggins

Thanks to your tag, now I know about it! I'll get right on it!

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D Elizabeth Almonte
D Elizabeth Almonte

How exciting! I have searched all over Miami for a Blues Bar, knowing I wouldn't find one but hoping I was wrong! I thought my next Blues Bar experience would entail flying back to Memphis or Chicago!

Lauren Wernsing
Lauren Wernsing

Juan Carlos Gallegos Megan Gil MaRia GabRieLa Veronica Garcia Ferdie Garcia

Kat Bruno
Kat Bruno

Benjamin Bingman-Tennant new downtown bar!

Jo Braga
Jo Braga

I hope this means a no DJ policy..

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