New and Old Punk Havens in Miami are Doing Their Best to Survive

New and Old Punk Havens in Miami are Doing Their Best to Survive

To those outside the Miami-Dade county isn’t a place that has an active scene of punk. The track by Against Me “Miami” is the sole mention of Miami in punk music. It has lyrics like “The town of Miami is exaggerated and trite The food is changing and the water is poisoned.” Maybe it’s because Gainesville, Florida, is their home, and there’s some naturally-born rivalry. However, Miami isn’t all about Pitbull and Heat basketball. There’s also a historic punk movement that’s determined to overcome difficulties.

One of the most famous spots, Churchill’s Pub in Little Haiti, has been since 1979. They hosted the likes of Iggy Pop, Social Distortion, New Found Glory, Toxic Holocaust and many more. Like other venues for music as well as bars in the pandemic Churchill’s was also at possibility of being evicted. It wasn’t necessarily about the pub.

A notice posted at Churchill’s front entrance demanding $92,838.03 was posted in August of 2020. It was discovered that the tenant who was the older one, Franklin Dale, and the landlord, Mallory Kauderer, were in a dispute about who owned the pub and the trademark. Dale violated the lease and was owed rent, and also lost insurance. It led Kauderer, who evicted Dale and his company in order that Churchill’s can continue to be open.

The situation was messy that should have been kept private, but eventually resolved. Churchill’s Pub had to work hard to pay back the loans that Dale left unattended for over one year, obtain the license to drink, as well as fight Dale’s appeal. The bar continues to rock and is preparing for its 43rd birthday.

Despite the difficulties, some companies are able to stay open. There are businesses that were less fortunate, but punk rock is always able to be successful. The Boombox is an underground punk group that operates in a variety of ways that are secret. The Boombox’s Instagram account is active however the business they run is not listed on Yelp. It was started by Laszlo Kristaly, Miguel Cala, and Kristaly’s cousin Ricardo “Mango” Cano when some of them were attending high school.

They were able to secure a space in the year 2019, which they spent a lot of energy into. The walls were all covered in graffiti, and they threw events where other genres were also accepted. The event was poorly timed for the trio, as the outbreak forced them to shut down and change. The owners were granted a special event permit and provided the venue to patrons who bought tickets. To be able to operate on a regular basis the owners are working towards acquiring a nightclub license.

From what started as a private party for suburban high-schoolers , to an undercover punk band operation, the owners of The Boombox are finding a way to keep the scene going.

The Boombox is where stars are created. Many of the people who first started playing with us now are playing Space often. It’s cool — they reached the other end of the spectrum.”

Two distinct generations of punk are present in Churchill’s Pub or The Boombox. One that has endured and flourished and is creating its own path with every method necessary. It’s a testimony to their determination and their ability to build a sense of community. It’s a reflection of the music genre: To continue regardless of the circumstances.


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