Few dive bars are as synonymous with their home city as Mac’s Club Deuce, Miami’s unquestioned dive bar king that happens to be located two blocks away from one of the most upscale streets in America. That juxtaposition is nothing new for dive bars threatened with gentrification, but Mac’s Club Deuce takes it to a new level, contrasting the opulence of Ocean Drive with deep divey roots. Opened in 1926 and official as of 1933 after the repeal of Prohibition, the bar was sold to regular Mac Klein in 1964 (who added “Mac’s” to what was at that time “Club Deuce”). Klein operated the bar until passing away at 101 in 2016, his wife Mary now helming the ship. Mac’s picture hangs above the door.
Visitors may see the neon-laden interior and assume the lighting was installed to take advantage of the 1980s Miami vibe, but in fact Miami Vice shot scenes here, adding the lights to help the shoot and they’ve stayed up ever since. But Mac’s Club Deuce gained its popularity not by capturing the feeling of Miami but by catering to transplants longing for the no-nonsense bars native to colder climates. The authenticity here is so pure that Anthony Bourdain famously called Mac’s Club Deuce one of his favorite places on Earth.
Mercifully, Mac’s Club Deuce opens at 8 AM each morning, offering a two-for-one happy hour until 5 PM every day and staying open until at last as 5 AM. This is an every hour dive bar for every walk of life, a rarity in Miami offering a peak at Florida’s past.