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Miami Home > Nightlife > Block Party

Published October 26, 2012

Block Party
Turning a Department Store into a Jazz Club

Department stores.

If you need shoes, shirts, jackets, socks, ties, pants, hats, sweaters, blazers, suits, cufflinks, long johns, umbrellas, bathing suits, shirts (we said shirts already, didn’t we?)... they’re great.

If you need wailing sax solos... they’re terrible.

Typically.

But not always.

Please welcome to the stage Avenue D, a new concert venue from the Kork crew for improv jazz and straight whiskey, now open inside the old Burdines space Downtown.

Famous old department store turned massive blue-walled cavern of Harlem Renaissance–era jazz. Not the first time you’ve heard that story. Oh... no, wait, it’s the first time you’ve heard that story.

Come here when you’re in need of something on the rocks that really kicks and something on the trumpet that really swings. You’ll start by walking through a long entrance hallway and past a few brassy antique mirrors. When you get to the big velvet curtains, part them. Inside, the heart of this joint: a 10,000-square-foot lounge with a fireplace, crystal chandeliers and a big center stage stocked with 30 different guitars. (Banjo. Electric. Twenty-eight others.) They’re there for impromptu jazz sessions (best to leave that to the professionals, though).

For you, there’s always the bar. Sorry, bars. Plural. There are three of them here. Pick a winner and then order yourself an Avenue D Manhattan (rye, Carpano Antica, orange bitters).

Good bars always come in threes.
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