Carlos Ponce Talks Drinko de Mayo at Mary Brickell Village's El Vato

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El Vato via Facebook.com/ElVatoBar
Every week, Club Crashers will bring the drunken shenanigans and blackouts that make up South Florida's nightlife to light. Club Crashers highlights the conversations and events that go down only at bars and clubs, from the overly ridiculous to the outlandishly funny to the even philosophical chats.

The background noise of small talk from athletes finishing the Mercedes-Benz Corporate Run was interrupted by the roaring sound of motors as a group of about 15 bikers swarmed El Vato into Mary Brickell Village.

The guys of the Cartel Baggers and Peterson's Harley-Davidson were blasting David Guetta's "Beautiful People" and revving their engines as they pulled up to the curb and parked their shiny red, white, and black Harleys. The badasses had arrived, and they wanted to make an entrance.

The sound of their motors caused me to nearly spill my $13 Cheech and Chong margarita all over myself. After parking their bikes, they slowly made their way inside the bar for a couple of beers.

Thursday night is Bike Night at El Vato (1010 S. Miami Ave., Miami) and is just one of the stops of the weekly joyride. Two athletic dudes in their early 30s were finishing their dinner as the bikers pulled in.

"Tequila" is what Guido said he loved the most about Mexico.

"But ask him; he's been there a few times," said the 33-year-old clean-shaven Cuban-American sporting khaki cargo shorts and an orange T-shirt as he pointed toward his friend, 32-year-old JJ, who was intensely watching the Miami Heat take on the Milwaukee Bucks during game three of the playoffs.

"The people are nice. Everything lets loose."

I asked him if he thought that had something to do with tequila. "I don't know, maybe," he said with a confused look on his face.

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Cafeina Celebrates Third Anniversary With Grand Opening of 1920s-Inspired Mezzanine

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Keeping it classy with Cafeina's new Mezzanine.
Bars in Miami come and go as quickly as the EDM madness that is Ultra Music Festival, Winter Music Conference, and Miami Music Week.

So when a Wynwood hangout celebrates three years of beats and booze, it's a serious accomplishment. Especially when the fete consists of the grand opening of a new upstairs lounge.

That's exactly what will be happening at Cafeina this Thursday when the bar celebrates its third anniversary with the official debut of the 1920s-inspired Mezzanine.

See also:
-Cafeina Wynwood, Bar Offering New Nightlife Choices This Side of the Causeway
-Cafeina's Second Anniversary: New Menu, New Cocktails, New Event Space


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Ten Best Music-Related Things Under $10 to Do in Miami This Weekend

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Photo by Ian Witlen
It's Friday and come 5 p.m., you'll want to run out of the office as if you were escaping the zombie apocalypse.

You rush home with the intention to get ready for one of the last parties of WMC, but then realize that you blew all your money on all the other parties at the Clevelander, Shelborne, and Shore Club this week.

Just because WMC may have left you broke for the weekend doesn't mean you can't partake in the last of EDM madness.

Check the cut for the ten best music-related things under $10 to do in Miami.

See also:
-Ultra, WMC, and MMW 2013 Guide
-Ten Best EDM Cruises During WMC and MMW 2013
-Ten Best Pool Parties During WMC and MMW 2013
-Twenty Best Club Parties During WMC and MMW 2013
-Ten Best Free Parties During WMC and MMW 2013

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Night Watch: Mickey's 19th Hole, a Comfy Fort Lauderdale Dive

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NightWatch is a regular feature about bars and clubs by nightlife columnist Tara Nieuwesteeg.​

Mickey's 19th Hole Bar & Grill
2739 E Oakland Park Blvd, Fort Lauderdale
Call 954-561-1911

Mickey's is the kind of place that doesn't change much. Regulars are so comfortable, they'll interrogate anyone whose face they don't recognize. It's nothing personal; they just feel entitled. They own the bar, so why shouldn't they know what you're doing in it, taking notes?

"Have you written about me yet?" asked Patrick, a boisterous, ruddy-faced patron in a tan sport coat.

"No, any suggestions?" I asked.

"You can tell them that I'm a potato farmer from Rhode Island," he said. "And I say it's all about love and happiness."

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Night Watch: Mugs, a New Fort Lauderdale Sports Bar

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Night Watch is a regular feature about bars and clubs by nightlife columnist Tara Nieuwesteeg

Mugs
2671 E Oakland Park Blvd, Fort Lauderdale
Call 954-566-7782 or visit mugsbar.com

I got a clear sense of déjà vu at Mugs, but only, as I realized, because I'd been taken there for dinner once by a lovely gentleman. Only it was called Christine's then, and was quite a bit more expensive. 

Currently, Mugs does bear reminders of its predecessor--the fancy glass divider between bar and dining area; complete and utter cleanliness; the gourmet, fancy-schmancy chef. Sure, it had all the fixins of a sports bar -- dartboards, foosball, pool tables -- but there was something special about it. It's a typical sports bar, kicked up a notch.  

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Night Watch: Shooters Waterfront Cafe, Where the Wet T-Shirt Contest Once Reigned

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Night Watch is a recurring feature about bars and clubs by nightlife columnist Tara Nieuwesteeg. 

Shooters Waterfront Café
3033 NE 32nd Ave, Fort Lauderdale
Call 954-566-2855, or visit shooterscafe.com

"I thought you were really... different. That was the first thing about you that really caught my attention," he was saying. His clean sweatshirt was neatly pressed; he was good looking, dark complexioned, and had, throughout their conversation, employed many comical cartoon character voices in attempts to make her laugh. She did, but only sparsely. She was waifish, with dark hair and a pretty, angular face. An arty chick, if I'd ever seen one. 

They sat adjacent to me at the large, pine-colored bar. She didn't look particularly engaged in him; she fiddled slightly with her long, flowing scarf.
 
Perhaps that's what he gets for taking her on a date to Shooters Waterfront Café, home of the corrupting, cling-tastic Wet T-Shirt Contest, which still occurs once a week, if you're interested.

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Night Watch: JByrd's Muddy Waters Restaurant and Raw Bar in Deerfield

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Night Watch is a regular feature about bars and clubs by nightlife columnist Tara Nieuwesteeg.

JByrd's Muddy Waters Restaurant and Raw Bar (
2237 W Hillsboro Blvd, Deerfield Beach Call 954-428-6577, or visit muddywaters.biz)

Out front, the patio area is replete with glider booths, palm trees, and parrot cages. A small island-like oasis sits in the center with a running-water fountain. A statue of a sexy lady-pirate, boobs very nearly popping out of her ruffled shirt, stood beckoning near the door.

The expansive inside was decked out, from floor to ceiling, with island swag and accessories that would please the Margaritaville maestro himself: Caribbean flags, giant plastic sting rays, and sea sponges and fishing nets. The brightly colored walls were more crowded with glass globes, miniature ships and fishing photos than the Fort Lauderdale beaches are with piss-drunk college kids during spring break. Nearby, a giant barrel had been labeled "J Byrd's rum," presumably so that any would-be liquor pirates would think twice.

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Pompano's French Quarter Bar & Grill Offers a Taste of New Orleans

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Night Watch is a regular feature about bars and clubs by nightlife columnist Tara Nieuwesteeg.

Here in sunny South Florida, we have the privilege of visiting the beach, with its white sands, surrounding palm trees, turquoise waters, and scantily-clad sunbathers every day of the year.

But sometimes (especially with the recent uncharacteristic cold!) even we need a change of scenery. This week, Night Watch scoped out a couple nightspot replicas of legendary party places. Think New Orleans and Key West too are too far to drive to for a few drinks? Get the same experience without racking up the mileage.

First stop: French Quarter Bar & Grill (2341 N Federal Hwy, Pompano Beach Call 954-781-5222, or visit frenchquarterbarandgrill.com).

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Julius the Mad Thinker Music Video Premiere & DJ Set at Vagabond Saturday

Categories: Night Watch
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House music reigned supreme at Vagabond Saturdays throughout 2009, with weekly performances by such classic house luminaries as Frankie Knuckles, Little Louie Vega, Jellybean Benitez, and Jesse Saunders. So far the soulful house vibes promise to live on at the downtown hotpot in 2010, and Saturday night brings a special show by DJ/producer Julius the Mad Thinker, one of the great enduring exponents of the Chicago house sound.

As co-founder of the internationally-renowned DJ collective 3Degrees Global, JtMT has garnered a solid reputation since the '90s, spinning alongside legends like Frankie Knuckles, Farley "Jackmaster" Funk, Derrick Carter, Louie Vega, Derrick May and Ron Trent, among others. He's made his mark playing at top clubs in the house birthplace of Chicago, in addition to the Detroit Electronic Music Festival, Louie Vega's Roots at Cielo in New York City, Marques Wyatt's DEEP event in Los Angeles, and various parties in Boston, San Francisco, Washington D.C., and Miami.

In June of last year, JtMT came down to Miami to shoot the music video for "Dejame", a soulful upbeat Afro-Latin house number produced in collaboration with Kaialexander. The video pays homage to Miami's small but loving house music scene and laid-back Latin flair. Saturday's performance at Vagabond comes on the heels of the music video's premiere, which will get a screening in the club's main room at midnight on Saturday. Julius The Mad Thinker will be joined on decks by Saraswati resident DJ Ivan Diaz.

Julius the Mad Thinker at The Vagabond, Saturday, January 9, doors open at 10 p.m. 30 NE 14th Street, downtown Miami.

Check out the video teaser for "Dejame" after the jump.

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Takin' It to the Track: the Sports Bar at Isle Casino in Pompano

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Night Watch is a regular feature about bars and clubs by nightlife columnist Tara Nieuwesteeg.

The Isle Casino & Racing in Pompano proved a good place to erase a bad day.

After sampling $1 happy hour specials at the bar inside the casino, my friend Beard and I made our way to the Sports Bar:

Past the poker room was the betting room-- featuring a degenerate sight of mostly middle-aged men clutching pieces of paper and tiny pencils, and staring at screens, all of which were projecting a different horse race, dog race, or some other bettable activity.

We wandered out the glass doors to the deck above the race track, and watched as harnessed horses--which actually are cart-pulling horses, each attempting to out-trot the next--whipped around the track. The audience included businessmen clutching betting cards and massage girls out for a cigarette break.

More booze was necessary.

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