Tobacco Road, Churchill’s Pub, Wood Tavern, and now Las Rosas- Closed. Sexual Assault Comments Raise Concern

Tobacco Road, Churchill’s Pub, Wood Tavern, and Las Rosas- these dark, grungy Miami dive bars are now a thing of the past. They were popular spots for music lovers, musicians, artists, and poets- the wild ones, the rebels with a cause, the vagabonds- seeking a place to get away, express themselves, listen to live music, let loose, and get lit.

The live music was the main source of celebration, but alcohol provided most of the flow. Referred to as the drink of the devil, booze brings pleasure but also pain. The inebriated joy of the evening turns into the unbearable hangover of the morning. Alcohol is probably the most dangerous drug; yet, ironically, it is also the most socially acceptable. Alcoholic drinks are served at most festivities. Since the beginning of society, drinking and music have had a connection. Satan has even been called the angel of music. Underneath the cheery fun atmosphere, one can’t deny that a dark vibe lingered at these venues.

Many amazing local musicians rocked out on the stages and packed the rooms full of dancing fans; but, apparently, there were also some shady activities occurring: hard drug use and sexual assault.

On Las Rosas’ Instagram post announcing their closing, there were some alarming comments. Most people expressed mourning, shock, and disbelief as they recounted stories of fun, drunk shenanigans, but one girl mentioned she was anti-Rosas. She said two of her friends got drugged at the venue. In addition, she commented, “they just want a place to buy drugs and sexually assault women.” The alarming comment raises concern about rape culture in the music industry and the commonality of the horrific crime’s occurrence in Miami’s bars and nightclubs. The comment is shown below and names have been concealed for privacy.

It’s no surprise that sexual assault is prevalent in the party scene. The message to drug women is even found in some popular music. The hit rap song from the late 80s “Funky Cold Medina,” which is readily played on the radio, encourages giving women a substance without their knowledge in order to have sex with them. The rapper Tone Loc portrays himself as a loser who can’t get any women.

“Cold coolin’ at a bar, and I’m lookin’ for some action

Feel like Mick Jagger said: “I can’t get no satisfaction.”

The girls are all around, but none of them wanna get with me.”

He then discloses his solution, Funky Cold Medina, which sounds like a date rape drug.

“I went up to this girl, and she said, “Hi, my name is Sheena”

I thought she’d be good to go with a little Funky Cold Medina

She said, “I’d like a drink, ” I said, “Ehm, okay, I’ll go get it”

Then a couple sips she cold licked her lips

And I knew that she was with it.” 

Coincidentally, Mick Jagger, who’s mentioned in the song, has also been accused of supporting rape. Rapists target women to assault in bars, as they are noisy loud spaces where people are already intoxicated. Almost everyone knows at least one woman who has been drugged in a Miami bar. But, sexual assault can happen anywhere. It is also a problem in universities and churches.

If so many women are getting victimized, and we all know at least one, then a lot of men must be committing these crimes, so we must all know at least one.  It might be someone that no one would suspect, someone charming like the devil. Some men are victims themselves, victims of childhood abuse and toxic masculinity. Some may feel pressured to go along with friends who are doing it or they are influenced by other forces from beyond.

Alcohol lowers people’s vibrations. On a spiritual level, [if one believes in that sort of thing] lower entities or demons may attach to those who are intoxicated. They call alcohol spirits for a reason. So if a person is drunk, they are susceptible to dark entities, which take their bodies for a joy ride and steer them in the wrong direction. Most people recall an instance of a friend turning into someone else when blacked-out drunk. Many terrible crimes are committed by drunk people who don’t remember their actions later.

Las Rosas and these other bars will surely be missed. The closing of these venues may feel like a loss to the local music scene, but perhaps it is actually a move in a positive direction for the community.  Do we need to create music in environments that are so toxic, especially for women? Wouldn’t it be nice to express ourselves in places that let the rosas bloom freely and safely?

Many Miami musicians are gravitating towards more high-vibrational spaces with healthier drinks. Kava bars are booming. A new one recently opened near Wynwood called Island Vibes. It has a really good vibe along with great food and drinks. They have open mic nights and live music shows. Roots Miami Kava did very well during the pandemic since they remained open the entire time. They also host a weekly talent showcase and many other artistic events. The relaxing natural beverages they serve like kava and kratom are a great alternative to booze. They get you lit without the hangover.

We are evolving as humans. The vibration of the planet is rising. The future is bright but it begins with being conscious of what has been happening in our community. Sexual assault is like a disease, a true pandemic, infecting people, like school shootings and police violence. Alcohol is not to blame. It is just one vehicle rapists use to disarm victims. Only through acknowledging the prevalence and seriousness of this crime may we begin to heal, forgive and evolve. Part of the problem is that people don’t want to talk about it due to the shame associated with it. No one wants to bring it to light. But in the end, light always breaks through the darkness.

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