Lately, I have received a lot of feedback from readers asking me to elaborate on exactly why Miami’s nightlife sucks so much. While I have lightly touched on it, let me go more into specifics about why Miami’s nightlife is garbage when you compare it to other cities. I am going to break this down a good bit so be ready for what is set to be quite a long read and maybe even a bit negative for some of you.
How it typically starts.
Miami’s nightlife will typically start with everyone going to this spot called the Wharf which is actually a pretty decent bar. The place has a nice outdoor area, the women are approachable, lots of food stands within the bar’s outside area, a great Marina, and the staff are cool. Wharf is what we would call more of a “pre-game” type of a spot and this is also where a lot of pickup artists in Miami go in order to do game. Don’t worry, I use the word pickup artist very loosely, most of these guys can barely approach women without sounding awkward.
Women will stay here until 1 to 2 in the morning or so. Typically, the bar is more of a Friday night spot, you see the quality being much lower on a Saturday night as everyone is in Wynnwood. The truth is that this is one of the better bars in Miami if your goal is to meet women but here is the kicker, it is going to get shut down soon in a few months and they are going to build a version of it in a more suburban neighborhood which is a little less than half its size. Here is the other kicker, this is about as good as it gets for the rest of this post.
Perhaps the other pre-game area more prime on Saturday than Friday. Located next to some rather dodgy neighborhoods with narrow and poorly lit streets, it is considered the best area of Miami nightlife for anyone not wanting to pay $100+ covers. The prime spots are Dirty Rabbit and Pilos. However, compared to even the Wharf, the quality in Wynnwood tends to be somewhat trashier. Imagine Wynnwood as a hipster yet ratchet version of Williamsburg in Brooklyn. Once again though, in terms of volume, you will find more of it in Wynnwood and could luck out with Oasis if a quality DJ happens to be playing on that night.
So we covered the lower cost and more pre-game areas of Miami right, what about where the people go afterwards?
Where everyone goes afterwards.
So where do people go after they have had their fun at the Wharf? Well, most of them will end up at one of the three to four nightclubs that are considered Miami’s elite: LIV, E11even (basically a borderline strip club), Story, or depending on who you ask, Space. Before I give my opinions, I have to first acknowledge the facts. Outside of Vegas, Miami at one point led the US in terms of having the highest grossing nightclubs. The article is from 2015 so a little under a decade ago, perhaps things were different then.
Now I have spent the most time in LIV and Story, which are considered the top two nightclubs in Miami, so let me break down the scene in both places.
Widely regarded as one of the best nightclubs in the world and basically considered the king of Miami nightlife by many. Every weekend, you have a DJ or musician playing that mostly everyone has heard of or was on top of the mountain at some point. Now let’s talk about how the scene is like when you actually get to LIV itself though, located inside of the Fountainebleau Hotel. You enter and hopefully if you are smart, you brought tickets in advance, and then there is mostly a pack around the entrance to the club itself.
For some reason, they are too lazy to direct you to where the people that brought the tickets should go but usually it is one random line. If you did not buy tickets in advance, you are only let in at the bouncer’s discretion (hint: you have to be a really hot girl). So you go in to enter the club and find that there is an upstairs area with a bar on both sides of the place. For anyone wanting to get drinks, get ready to pay $10+ for water as it only comes in bottles and $20+ for something like a vodka soda in a plastic cup, same goes for Story.
The music is much louder than you would be used to at most nightclubs (bring earplugs!) and there is the VIP area. Your best bet is to just walk around back and forth upstairs and hope you find approachable sets as they come in. If you are lucky, you just spam approach the entrance until you luck out. You might get lucky with an outdoor smoking area as well here and there but it is a very small area right outside of the hotel.
Now as you go downstairs, there is a middle area but it is very dicey in terms of how you approach it. The area is technically VIP but the bouncers never seem to be around guarding it. A lot of girls will sneak into that area and try to mix and mingle with the guys. I have seen guys try the same thing but other guys in that VIP area immediately called them out and alerted the bouncers.
Downstairs in the club is where the performance is happening but the entire dance floor is VIP only. Bouncers guard the dance floor in front of the performer and aggressively tell anyone passing by to speed up, forget getting it in your Instagram story. Now I want you to pay attention to this because it is an underlying theme of Miami nightlife, they really want you to buy tables! In other cities, nightclubs encouraging buying tables too but in Miami, it is pushed on you aggressively.
Towards the end of the downstairs area, you will find a bar as well where you can potentially also find some approachable sets. The other kicker is that it is also the bar which is next to the speakers so get ready to use your nightclub voice and vibes (project like a motherfucker!) in order to score. Outside of these places, LIV is kind of a shitshow and I have rarely seen even the most advanced guys pull.
In most cities, LIV would be a lower-tier nightclub and one that could barely survive. PhD, Le Bain, and Catch in NYC (Manhattan not Queens) would all put LIV out of business. The one saving grace for LIV though is the fact that it is has a lobby which is practically a gold mine for most men with decent game. One catch is that once you go to the lobby, you are not allowed back in the club. The only time I pulled at LIV, it was at the lobby and she was staying at the hotel. If the club has had a super loud DJ, the lobby is your saving grace as most women will run out of the club after 2 AM due to realizing how their risk of hearing loss just exponentially increased.
The lobby alone makes LIV doable for most men but outside of that, it is a shitshow inside most of the time. Your best bet if inside is to hope that you hit it off with women who are practically done with the club itself and exiting. Majority of the time, they are going to be miserable because the bouncers were too mean to them or their ears are hurting from the loud music.
The other big Miami nightclub except not inside of a hotel. The club doesn’t open until thirty minutes or so before midnight and the entry is all outdoors. You go in, assuming you were smart enough to buy a ticket in advance, and there you are. To the left of you are going to be stairs and ahead of you is going to be the dance floor.
One place where Story beats LIV is the fact that the dance floor is somewhat accessible and you do not need to be VIP in order to go there. However, the closer you get to the action, the more guarded it is by bouncers as the area in front of the performer for the night is all VIP. The downstairs is less aggressively guarded by bouncers so it is easier to game in this part of the club compared to LIV. You go only to find that to the right of you are two stairs that take you back upstairs with some VIP sections along the way.
Just like LIV, your best bet is the upstairs area where most women who did not get into VIP are going to be hanging out. To the left most side of the upstairs area is going to be another VIP lounge but that is about it. One piece of advice, as you are walking around upstairs from one side to the next, be weary of the invisible ramp right before the restrooms as I have seen a lot of people slip and fall here. Upstairs itself, you are more likely to find more volume and receptiveness on the larger left side of the club (left from when you enter the club and head to the left-hand stairs before the dance floor).
Now unlike LIV, Story does not have a lobby or a smoking section. Even with the way it is laid out, it is right across the street from a Diner that seems to close at midnight and practically the only lively place in the area. You stick it out in the banging nightclub for as long as you can and then rely on street game in the hopes you score.
The more EDM type of nightclub where people go to after the nightclub. Much more tolerable crowd than both LIV and Story but there is a cover charge. At one point, considered one of Miami’s best but has fallen off in recent years. Goes for a while and a more hipster vibe compared to the uppity vibe of LIV and Story. However, it’s where people go to at around 3 AM which kind of brings me to the next area of the post.
The themes of Miami nightlife.
It is costly!
Not only is it $80+ to get into most decent nightclubs, drinks themselves are $20+. For something as simple as a Vodka Soda in a plastic cup, it is $20+. No one in their right minds other than people with money to just throw around would get that. Dehydrated? Water in a bottle is at least $10+. Do not be shocked to wake up to a $200+ bill if you go too hard that night at the club. I recommend really pre-gaming hard but not too hard to where you can’t even get into the club because the bouncer thinks you are drunk.
It’s definitely a marathon!
If you want to party hard, that is one thing and perhaps none of what I said applies. However, if your goal is to pickup and score, be ready to stay out until 5 AM! In other words, to truly “nightgame” in Miami, you need to prepare like you would for an actual marathon. Get all of you sleep in, maybe get ready to be super burnt out for work on Monday, and get ready for a weekend of a poor sleeping schedule. If you have anything productive going on in your life, get ready to kiss your Friday or Saturday afternoon goodbye as you will focus that on long naps to get ready for what is going to be a truly long night. All of this to likely pull what is going to be a tourist there for a weekend.
No lounges or low key areas at the clubs.
In NYC, even places like Le Bain and PhD had wide open massive rooftops. In Miami, the smoking section at LIV is slightly bigger than a Portapotty. Outside of that, you are stuck inside of the loud banging nightclub where you rely on non-verbals and spam approach to get lucky. You are packed inside of a nightclub where the music is much louder than it would be at clubs in other cities and you rely on dumb luck and spam approach to score.
A huge push to buy tables and high covers.
As you saw with LIV and Story, the push is to buy tables. Now this is different from NYC where you had a wide open dance floor and big open rooftops for normal people. In Miami, there is a clear separation of VIP from everyone else. Tables go for thousands and are only ideal for large groups. In other cities, it is encouraged that you get a table but in Miami, it is heavily pushed the second you get into the club itself.
Crawling with aggressive dudes more than any other city.
When I lived in NYC and even Atlanta, the women were not approached as much. In Miami, you will see married women and even those who have been separated from their boyfriend get aggressively approached by guys or even groups of guys. I have seen men not back off which ends up raising the bitch shields of most women who have been approached by over 10 different guys that night. A lot are just ready to call it a night and go home.
Your best bet are tourists.
Locals in Miami opt to go for social circles and won’t be caught dead going to a LIV. Most Miami locals went to LIV at the age of 18, it is often tourists who go at 25 and up. The tourists are usually going for a weekend or a couple of days before they bounce to another city or go back home. Outside of getting lucky with a tourist, you are usually SOL. Locals tend to go for quieter bars where you have to do more subtle game and hope that your 3 to 6 approaches that night get you lucky.
The vibe is more hostile than normal.
Right from the door to the club itself, Miami’s nightlife has more hostile than normal vibe. In NYC, the bouncers were cool and a bit more relaxed. In Miami, from the get go, the bouncers are aggressive, hostile, and downright disrespectful. You see it in their faces, they are drained. Maybe it is because of Florida having so many crazy people in it and the extreme heat but everyone is on edge. Women themselves feel it and you notice it when talking to them, they feel drained instead of having fun.
It drains everyone in a way that nightlife shouldn’t.
Miami’s nightlife is just draining and nightlife should not feel like that. In NYC, you can regularly go to PhD or Le Bain every weekend and not feel drained because of the vibe. In Miami, just a weekend at LIV and Story itself will make you feel drained. Whether it is the super high cost of drinks, having to pay for water, or just having to stay out until 5 AM to have any luck, Miami drains you with its nightlife.
Truly pay to play.
Finally, Miami is a pay to play world for nightlife. Sure, you could luck out at Wharf or Wynnwood if you play it right and this is the most ideal situation. In most instances though, you are best off going home. Unless you buy tables at nightclubs, you won’t get the most out of the experience. Compared to NYC, Miami just does not have the high volume of party bars other than the Wharf to make up for lost ground. As such, the nightclubs have a monopoly on the nightlife scene which turns into pay to play.
So how do you make the game work for you in Miami and still do well? How have I done well? Stay tuned for future posts talking about how to hack Miami.