One of Kill Your Idol’s resident bartenders is Karloz Torres, a native Colombian who moved to the United States when he was 14 years old and started tending bar at 19 to pay for college.
When Torres went to work in his field — computer technology and graphic design — he discovered he hated it, “plus it didn’t pay well.” So Torres went back to tending bar. And now the bartender is the producer and host of Drag Mondays at Kill Your Idol, 222 Española Way, in Miami Beach, which celebrates its second anniversary Feb. 12.
Drag Mondays features The Eye Dolls, a group of up-and-coming drag queens managed by Torres. The group, Torres says, is known for doing things most others don’t, such as weekly choreographed numbers and monthly theme parties.
“I created The Eye Dolls to make sure we had a solid team [of drag entertainers] and it has been working out great ever since,” Torres said. “We bring in new guests every week but The Eye Dolls are the main stars.”
Torres said The Eye Dolls have come a long way. “All my dolls work all over town,” including Señor Frogs, R House Wynwood, Palace, Twist and Molto.
“They have won so many pageants. Their make up, their costumes, their performances all have improved tremendously,” Torres said. “We don’t have the girls we started with… but we have invited those past cast members to come back and perform. The love never goes away.”
Monday drag nights at Kill Your Idol has been going on for seven years now. Originally called Glitter Box the party started at Kill Your Idol back in 2010.
“Drag Mondays at Kill Your Idol is the biggest little party in town,” Torres said. “I took over two years ago, and it really has become a staple of Miami Beach.”
At only 33, Torres has a long history in the South Florida gay club scene, including Twist, where he worked for five years; Cathode Ray in Fort Lauderdale; and The Vagabond, “where we had all sorts of fun weird events like ‘Backdoor Bamby.’” Torres also represented Florida in Stoli’s Key West Cocktail classic.
Besides Drag Mondays, Torres also hosts a joint party with comic drag legend Shelley Novak — Karaoke Circus Thursdays at Kill Your Idol — and throws a monthly event called Gender Blender, which takes place on the last Sunday of every month at Las Rosas, 2898 NW Seventh Ave., in Miami.
“We are the only queer event focused on live music and performance art,” Torres said.
Torres said Ian “Neon” Brown, a co-organizer of the event, is “amazing and well known in the punk scene. He knows all about amazing bands.” Brown is the one who initially approached Torres to host a queer punk night.
“After the first time we did it, I saw the opportunity to create something bigger,” Torres said.
The event relaunched the following month as Gender Blender.
“I’m surrounded by awesome people who are trying to make an impact in the Miami queer scene. I couldn’t do it alone,” Torres said. “Counter Corner proved the need for more than your standard gay party. There’s a bigger spectrum to our culture and that’s what Gender Blender is about. We like to get weird.”
The next Gender Blender is Jan. 28 at Las Rosas.