So many parties, so little time. Contrary to popular belief, Wilton Manors is not the be-all, end-all of the best Tea-dances, bars, clubs and pop-up events in South Florida. Miami is also a force to be reckoned with — offering drag shows, live music, performance art and even free barbecue and drinks on a weekly.
South Florida Gay News compiled a list of some of the must-go-to parties to check out.
Last week we highlighted the monthly events. This week we take a look at the weekly parties.
Pussila’s Underwear Contest at Twist, 1057 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 1 a.m. every Sunday.
Comic drag legend Pussila hosts this weekly party at the Bungalow bar — one of seven bars at Twist, where she invites up to five unsuspecting patrons on stage to dance, do a little striptease and show off their underwear. The winner by unanimous applause wins a $100 bar tab. It’s always fun and a good time.
Noche de Cabaret at Azúcar Nightclub, 2301 SW 32nd Ave., Miami; 11 p.m.-closing every Sunday.
Latina drag legend Marytrini is back at Azúcar, where she — years ago — launched the club catered to Latino music of all genres: salsa, merengue and reggaeton...not to mention drag shows. Her partner in crime is Mariloly, a comic and Latina drag legend in her own right. Together, the two queens host a cabaret-inspired event with a rotating set of drag entertainers every week. Follow Azúcar on Instagram at @azucarnightcluboficial.
Karaoke at Hotel Gaythering, 1409 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach; 8 p.m.-closing every Monday.
Every first Monday of the month, SMASH the Slumlords hosts The Real (Affordable) House-Spouses of Miami — a music Monday karaoke night, where audience members throw pettiness, drama and shade all night to raise funds for affordable housing and LGBTQ homeless youth in Miami. Free to enter, a $10 donation gets you a drink and a house card; $5 gets you a free Jell-O shot. Subsequent Mondays are just as fun, emceed weekly by Miami drag entertainer Tiffany Fantasia with resident bartender and singer Robbie Elias serving you drink specials all night long.
Drag Mondays at Kill Your Idol, 222 Española Way, Miami Beach; 10 p.m. every Monday.
Featuring The Eye Dolls, a group of up-and-coming drag queens managed by Karloz Torres, Drag Mondays at Kill Your Idol “bring in new guests every week but The Eye Dolls are the main stars,” Torres said. The event has been going on for seven years now, originally called Glitter Box with producers Dustin Reffca and DJ Smeejay. When Reffca moved on to Electric Sheep at Score, Torres took over the event in 2016, rebranding it Drag Mondays.
Pop Mondays at Twist, 1057 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 2-5 a.m. every Monday.
Pop Mondays has been a mainstay at Twist for almost as long as 17-year resident bartender and VJ Nathan Paul Smith has been working there. For the last 10 years, the weekly party at the upstairs video bar has entertained patrons, who enjoy Smith’s remixed videos of both the latest and most classic pop tunes. Regular queens Ruby Dior, Nelly Norell and LaDonna Sucia never disappoint with their drag performances. Little known fact: one of the original queens to perform at Pop Mondays “back in the day” was Tiffany Fantasia, who has since moved on to residencies at Palace and Señor Frog’s and has even appeared on Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live” with Andy Cohen. Mondays at Twist also include half-priced drinks for Miami Beach locals and those in the industry all night long.
Home Cookin’ at Rácket, 150 NW 24th St., Wynwood; 10 p.m.-midnight every Tuesday.
Resurrecting a 90s staple, newly opened Rácket in Wynwood is making a quick name for itself — especially when they’re serving free barbecue and open bar weekly for two hours. Hosted by legendary drag comic Shelley Novak, the funny entertainer is no stranger to grilling meat and serving it with a smile. In 2017, she hosted a one-time pop-up event at Philly Grub near Brownsville. So far, the free food and drinks have helped build business at Rácket.
Planeta Macho at Score, 1437 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 11 p.m.-closing every Tuesday.
This Latino-themed party, emceed by a different Miami drag entertainer every week, is the only event to transfer over from Score’s iconic old location on Lincoln Road four years ago to its current location on Washington Avenue. Resident bartender Charlie Dominguez always has a smile on his face and greets all with enthusiasm. And did we mention there are hot Latino go-go boys dancing in their undies? Drink up all you can for open bar from 11-11:30 p.m.
Trivia Night / Gaymer Nights at Hotel Gaythering, 1409 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach; 8 p.m.-midnight every Wednesday.
Enjoy a double whammy event at Hotel Gaythering. While co-owner Alexander Guerra hosts Trivia at the main bar, SMASH the Slumlords project lead Adrian Madriz emcees Gaymer Nights in the lobby, raising funds and awareness for affordable housing and LGBT homeless youth. Attendees at the event enjoy playing such popular games as Super Smash Bros for Wii U, Just Dance 2018, Playstation VR, Mario Kart, retro games and a flash tournament every 30 minutes, where the winner gets a free bar tab and a free specialty Mario shirt from the Super Smash Bears series by Oso Apparel. Tournaments are a suggested $5 donation to enter. Attendees must be over age 18 to attend. Madriz said the event, organized by WORLDS — Miami's first majority black-owned worker cooperative dedicated to video games — is "gaming for a great cause."
Bingo with Miss Toto at Gramps, 176 NW 24th St., Wynwood; 9 p.m.-midnight every Wednesday.
Play Bingo for free with your supreme hostess, Miss Toto. Grab your dauber by the shaft to win drinks, swag, gift certificates, vinyl records and more. Enjoy Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey as the Gramps' well whiskey — only during the game — and also get 2-for-1 shots of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey and Jack Daniel's Tennessee Fire. The event celebrates two years at Gramps this April.
Fresh Wednesdays / La Fiesta De La Croqueta at Twist, 1057 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 1 a.m. & 2 a.m. every Wednesday.
TP Lords hosts the “fresh” part of this evening event while Josefina La Mujer de los Globos hosts the comedy drag show with VJ Yessie serving $5 Cachaca shots at the Latin bar. For more Latin goodness, come back for Sabroso Thursdays / Sazón Latino with DJ Adora and 2-for-1 drinks all night long.
Karaoke Circus at Kill Your Idol, 222 Española Way, Miami Beach; 10 p.m. every Thursday.
Since 2016, comic drag legend Shelley Novak has hosted this karaoke night with Kill Your Idol resident bartender and partner in crime, Karloz Torres. The event attracts everyone (gay or straight) to the dive bar — owned by the same folks who run next door’s Lost Weekend, which celebrated its 21-year anniversary in September 2017. Novak always sings a tune by night’s end, but this show is ruled by amateur singers belting out songs of all genres and musical eras.
Double Stubble at Gramps, 176 NW 24th St., Wynwood; 9 p.m.-closing every Thursday.
Featuring a rotation of drag performers every week, Double Stubble parties include music mixes by resident DJs Daniel Hottpants, Mystic Bill and Terence Tabeau. Drag shows start at 9:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. Labeled “always fun, always free,” there is no cover all night. The party was voted Best Monthly Gay Party by the Miami New Times in 2015.
The Lab at Score, 1437 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 11 p.m.-closing every Friday.
Reigning Ultimate Miami drag queen Athena Dion and comic drag legend Shelley Novak started this party at Score two years ago. The event is solely run today by Dion and her band of Lab Rats, many whom perform regularly at Counter Corner, Gender Blender and Double Stubble. Resident bartender Charlie Dominguez, a mainstay at Score for years, serves drinks with a smile all night long. Enjoy open bar well drinks from 11-11:30 p.m. while hot Latino go-go boys dance for you in their underwear.
Viernes de Lokuras at Azúcar Nightclub, 2301 SW 32nd Ave., Miami; 11 p.m.-closing every Friday.
Lokura means craziness in Spanish, and it can certainly get that way at Azúcar, where Latina drag legend Marytrini hosts this party with a rotation of drag queens every Friday night. Some of the regular performing drag queens include reigning Miss Florida F.I. Kalah Mendoza, Elishaly D’Witshes and Sasha Lords.
Bailo at Club Twelve, 7335 NW 36th St., Miami; 10 p.m.-6 a.m. every Saturday.
This Saturday party is full of Latin men from all over the world dancing to drums, base and the Latin/House beats of DJ Otto P. and DJ Kike W. Hosted by Marytrini, alongside Teresita La Caliente, the sexy bartenders keep the alcohol flowing all night. Check out the drink specials before midnight. For bookings, call 786-344-2074.
La Puta Nota at The Hangar, 60 NE 11th St., Miami; after-hours party, 4 a.m.-noon every Saturday.
This after-hours destination, located next to Club Space, welcomes everyone (gay or straight). The party has been run for years by Ely Lords and partner Danny Villar. It’s the perfect place to go when you’re in no mood to go home and just want to keep dancing.
The Gay Corner at Club Space, 34 NE 11th St., Miami; after-hours party every Saturday.
Miami bartender and drag artist Roger Lords, who represented Stoli’s Key West Cocktail Classic in 2016 and has won multiple bartending competitions, is the host of this weekly after-hours party — catered to the gay peeps in his community...but all are welcomed. Get on his exclusive guest list and you’re hooked up with a few drinks from his complimentary bottle of tequila or whatever other alcohol he may be serving that particular week. Legend Alan T. always entertains, working the door. Check out this corner at Space. You’ll have a gay ol’ time.