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Many of Miami’s oldest dive bars are gone, but the city has a new order of artisanal dives, helmed by young hipsters that evoke the romance of the past. The decorative sensibility of yore is being incorporated into a new strain of intelligent, casual spots where a solid, well-crafted cocktail can just as easily be served in a relaxed, informal ambiance. Here are five great Miami dive bars, from old-line classics to fairly sophisticated joints.
Situated on Espanola Way in South Beach, Lost Weekend is owned by the Sub-Culture Group, which has such on-target establishments as Subculture Coffee and Tryst Bar in Palm Beach County. The Sub-Culture Group has taken the aesthetic form of the dive bar, thrown in some irony, and made Lost Weekend a viable concern for years. The name—which harkens to the 1945 Ray Milland movie about an alcoholic writer, or John Lennon’s “Lost Weekend” period in the early 1970s—gets all the hipster details right, including 1980s video games. At happy hour, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. during the work week, a well vodka and tonic will set you back $3.50.