The Pawn Shop

  • Location: 1222 NE 2nd Ave.
  • Phone: 305-373-3511
  • Layout: Featuring a bar and lounge area with dramatic projection of video art, a cabaret area, and themed VIP areas.
  • Atmosphere: A boutique Miami nightclub with a pawn shop theme thoughout the venue. Featuring a original 727 jet fuselage and a school bus.
  • Age Group: 21+
  • Average Cost: $10 – 20
  • Hours: 10pm – 5am
  • Description: Traditionally a cover for illicit activities, this 1930′s pawn shop’s original facade now offers the perfect front for Miami’s first boutique nightclub. Intimate yet charged with nocturnal energy, Pawn Shop offers a creative playpen through an inspired “liquid” decor concept and location in downtown Miami.

    Nightlife veteran Kurt VanNostrand conceived Pawn Shop, whose barbed wire and red letters screaming “We buy diamonds” face the new Performing Arts Center, as a cutting edge catalyst in the revival of downtown Miami.

    While retaining the spirit of its former incarnation, Pawn Shop’s interior holds a theatrical paradise of secondhand items transformed into living art. These ever-changing vignettes may include an Airstream Trailer, a school bus, and the fuselage of a jet airplane. This evolutionary atmosphere combines a Warholian elevation of the everyday into art with a postmodern blend of new and vintage, creating a fresh collage for Miami nightlife.

    Upon entering past a cover booth window with iron bars, guests are treated to a bar and lounge area dipped in white and accented with original primary-colored vaults repurposed into a coat check and wine cellar. Eye candy includes a dramatic projection of video art and sleek poured white resin bar displaying pawn shop items illumed by fiber optic light. A further touch of surrealism is added by acid-colored dentist chairs along the front foyer wall.

    A full-size yellow school bus divides the purgatorial foyer from the “cabaret” area which dominated by three transportation-themed set pieces. Batched in projections by international video artists, the bus offers and irreverent spin on the concept of a VIP area and the 60′s era psychedelic bus. Arrangements of upholstered bus seats in front offer additional accommodation. Across the room an original 727 jet fuselage anchors a “mile-high-club” area with refinished 70s style airline chairs. Opposite is a sleek silver vintage Airstream trailer from the 50s, complete with a pinball machine inside. Original Dade County pine trusses above reference an artist’s loft.

    “Every feature of Pawn Shop evokes a strong sense and feeling of authentic energy and history. I wanted to create a successful, interesting and thriving business to the downtown area, while contributing to the development of the neighborhood as a whole,” said Managing Partner VanNostrand, who has also worked for top hoteliers Ian Schrager (Morgan’s Bar and Skybar in Modrian) and Andre Balazs (Mercer Kitchen).

    Through its artistic concept, imaginative execution and ongoing evolution, the Pawn shop hopes to act as a modern-day speak easy for a sophisticated clientele. Rarer still is its aspiration for both cultural viability and a high place in the pantheon of legendary nightspots.

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