LAST CALL: Tobacco Road

securedownloadBy John Anthony Ruiz

Its hard to say whether the original owners of Tobacco Road foresaw just how many years they would stay open.  Steven Covey said, “Begin with the end in mind,” and it seems that they did just that.  

How do you put a stamp on your closing party when its been open for over 100 years?  Do what you’ve been doing all along, throw a banging block party with bands and cold brews. 

We are all familiar with how Miami bars, clubs, and restaurants come and go at unknown lengths of time.  Whether it’s location, management or food, there are many aspects that make or break an establishment in the sunshine state.  Even the charm of having the first liquor license in Miami isn’t enough to keep “progress” from taking over.  All it takes is one drive into Brickell and the kaleidoscope of cranes is as clear a sign as ever that that very progress has arrived.  In with new, out with the old and Tobacco Road is as old as it comes.  But old should never be looked as a negative thing.  It is simply the past and in that past we have memories.  We must not forget those memories that brought us back to Tobacco Road, live bands, fairly priced drinks, variety of people, the list goes on.  For me it’s where as a minor, I ordered and received my first cocktail, bought a group of ladies a round of shots and helped a friend build his first bar out of scratch, The Cocktail Collection.  For others, the sky is the limit.  Yet the most fascinating elements to me is how this place survived for so long.


Bullets from Al Capone’s rivals, closures from illegal gambling and even a category 5 Hurricane Andrew couldn’t destroy this century old relic.  Yet the one billion dollar Brickell City Centre project is swallowing all those wonderfully terrible memories.  That vintage dive bar smell that evolved every decade, the golden crusted bar tops as well as local homeless Shanky blessing you with his freestyle’s when you donate a cigarette.  Last week events coordinator Oski Gonzalez told the Miami New Times, “Miami is losing the last place that all kinds of people go to. You have the state attorney hanging next to a metalhead hanging next to a blues guy hanging next to a rocker and a hippie hanging next to a stockbroker, and everyone’s having a good time, and no one is judging no one. It’s probably the only place in Miami that you can just be yourself and listen to some cool music for real good price. We will be losing history.”

Sure there are a lot of dated aspects to the Road, but thats part of its charm.  When Last Call is announced this Saturday night it will mark the end of many things.  Cocktail Collection foreman and head mixologist Leo Holtzman recently told Miami Eater, “We are working on securing a new site and excited to start designing a new space while continuing to grow the Cocktail Collection brand and its offerings.”  Until a new spot is confirmed you’ll be sure to find Holtzman backing some of Miami’s premier cocktail lounges. 

Follow @cocktail_conjuror for some hints on making those signature drinks we all came to love in such a short time.

Now while Tobacco Road solidifies its new location they will also be re-branding a food truck formerly known as Latin Burger into a Tobacco Road truck.  Details of the menu are unknown but they will be sure to include some items from their menu.  Hopefully its those rocking chili tater tots.  

For now, come out and enjoy this historic Last Call with some cold brews and funky beats. This is the last time any of us will be able to soak in this potent chronicle.  Cheers!

Tobacco Road’s Last Call

Closing PartyTobacco-Road_Last-Call_Closing_Party_Miami_2014_Flyer

21+ | $10 Cover | 8pm-5am

Upstairs in the Cocktail Collection
9 p.m. The Hoovers
10 p.m. The Eclectics
11:30 p.m. The Hongs
1 a.m. The Oski Foundation

Outside Parking-Lot Stage
8 p.m. Eric Vick
9 p.m. The Jay Blues Band
10 p.m. Pat De Leon, AKA Mr. Tobacco Road
11 p.m. JUke
12:30 a.m. Afrobeta