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Grand Central: The Live Music Venue Miami Has Been Missing

January 26, 2011 By Matt Meltzer in Miami: Nightlife  | 3 Comments


Though one of the more renowned American cities for nightlife, Miami has never been a place for live music. I mean, sure, if you like salsa bands or amateur hip hop it’s got some options. And if you consider DJs “live” music you’d be hard pressed to find a better place. But in the traditional, band-you-have-never-heard-of-but-someday-will sense of “live” music, Miami lags behind other cities its size. A big reason is lack of venues. Enter Grand Central, a new offering in Downtown nightlife that hopefully can raise the bar for Miami’s live music scene.



As the name might imply, Grand Central is actually a converted railroad station Downtown, which now serves as a music venue on Fridays and Saturdays. This historical appreciation for Miami gives Grand Central a much more local feel. When you go there you feel like you’re a part of the city, not just a long-term visitor.  The idea was conceived by founder and managing partner Aramis Lorie, and opened in May of last year.

“I wanted a proper space that was versatile enough to do special events and production work,” Loire told me via email.


One of the main reasons Miami doesn’t have more of these types of venues is that they are a lot more expensive to run that your traditional dance clubs. In this space, Loire found a spot that could be versatile enough to host the types of events he envisioned, without breaking the bank.

“To do events such as the ones I would do in a similar space would cost a fortune,” he said. “so I took the idea of an event space and combined it with the basic production packages required by most clients.”



While a visit to Grand Central might have you believing it was a traditional nightclub, it is far from that. The venue has hosted everything from Duck Sauce (a combination or renowned DJs Armand Van Helden and A-trak) to the band Crystal Castles to a Buick unveiling party. So if you like DJs, it will sometimes offer that. Live bands? Sure. Almost any genre or type of artist can be found at Grand Central depending on the weekend. The space, as Loire says, is very versatile and easy to work with.

The interior is as upscale and posh as any Miami nightspot. But because Grand Central caters to such a diverse collection of performers, it focuses more on open space than VIP tables. It has an actual dance floor and viewing space in addition to its bars and tables. So unlike the Opium-group-dominated Beach, where dance floors have all been replaced by VIP tables, Grand Central actually offers a fun environment that is focused on a music scene, not being seen.

The diversity in acts bring in a diversity of crowds as well. But make no mistake: despite allowing in a lot of people, Grand Central still attracts a fashionable clientele . It’s just more locals looking for a good time than visitors looking to be cool.



For those who love live music, the hope is that Grand Central can continue to thrive. Because it is so much larger than other live music venues like Churchill’s and Tobacco Road, it can support better-known acts that may still be too small for arena shows. Which may attract a better diversity of artists to Miami and give Miamians more nightlife choices. Loire says that Grand Central’s diversity is exactly why it can survive the ever-changing Miami nightlife scene.

“We keep it fresh with our programming,” he said. “We’re not really this or that,  so it’s relatively easy.”

Related Categories: Miami: Nightlife,

About the Author: Matt Meltzer is a featured columnist at Miami Beach 411.

See more articles by Matt Meltzer.

See more articles by Matt Meltzer

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3 Comments on

"Grand Central: The Live Music Venue Miami Has Been Missing"

Joe says:

looks pretty cool

Posted on 01/27/2011 at 4:04 AM

Christy says:

Sounds really cool! If Honey Brothers is playing I’ll be there. smile

Posted on 01/27/2011 at 6:12 PM

Kite says:

They play bullshit Latin techno, like all the other clubs, and turn it into Spanish night o n Fridays. Like the Miami club scene needs another Latin night.

Posted on 03/15/2011 at 8:54 AM

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