Tobacco Road, Churchill’s Pub, Wood Tavern, and Las Rosas- these beloved grungy Miami bars are now a thing of the past. Churchill’s will hopefully reopen soon and their social media claims they will do so. 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, rock out, let loose, and get lit.
The music was the main source of celebration, but alcohol provided the flow. Unfortunately, it seems that alcohol sales weren’t enough to keep them alive.
Sometimes called the drink of the devil, alcohol brings pleasure but it can also bring pain. Most people know this all too well after being tempted to overindulge. After one bad experience partying, many people swear to never drink again. As a result, alcohol becomes less lucrative to the venues because it has a purchase limit. They’re not selling tons if they aren’t packed, which is just a few days a month, especially in cities like Miami that are growing more health conscious.
The venues were supposed to be about the music and art, but they weren’t charging for shows or entrance. They relied on alcohol sales.
After all, what’s a party without drinks? Even Jesus turned water to wine to raise people’s spirits in celebration. Since the beginning of society, drinking, celebrating, and music have all gone together. It definitely did at Las Rosas and the other bars. Yet Satan, who coincidentally was the angel of music in heaven, always tries to find a way to mess up the party. He will send his minions to do evil deeds wherever he sees people having a good time. I guess he’s still mad he got kicked out.
Underneath the cheery fun atmosphere, a heavy, dark and sometimes scary 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 including hard drug use and sexual assault.
On Las Rosas’ Instagram post announcing their closing, there were some alarming comments. Most people expressed mourning and disbelief as they recounted stories of fun 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 shocking comment raises concern about the commonality of the crime’s occurrence in Miami’s bars and rape culture in the music industry in general. This 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 in their drinks 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: universities, public spaces, and even churches.
If so many women are getting victimized, and most of us know at least one, then a lot of men must be committing these crimes, so most of us 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, also 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.
Getting drunk lowers people’s vibrations as it destroys brain cells. On a spiritual level, lower entities or demons may attach to those who black out when drunk. They call alcohol spirits for a reason. It can take the soul out of a person. People may be 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. Their eyes going black and unrecognizable to friends. 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 ensure the rosas bloom freely and safely?
Many Miami musicians are gravitating towards more conscious spaces with healthier drinks that don’t lead to blacking out drunk. Kava bars are booming on the other hand since the pandemic. They get business daily because many drink the teas like coffee throughout the day. 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 for alcohol. They get you lit without intoxication or hangover.
We are evolving as humans. The vibration of the planet is rising. The future is bright. Illumination 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. But in the end, light always breaks through the darkness. We will survive and build better spaces that encourage everyone’s individuality for our future.