When Las Rosas opened in 2017, the idea was that it would become a food and drink concept with a focus on tequila. The bar’s rock and roll aesthetic was there from the start, but music was never meant to be the primary focus.
Owner Cesar Morales, the entrepreneur behind other hotspots such as Wood Tavern and Tiki Garden, has always had a knack for observing what works and what doesn’t and adjusting his concepts where necessary. Las Rosas was no exception.
Soon B-Side opened up in the back room of Las Rosas. It was a club-within-a-club concept that aimed to attract people who were looking for hip-hop music to dance to. But when that didn’t work, Morales outfitted the back room with a good stage and sought the help of live music promoters like Nayra Serrano.
Serrano had made a name for himself as the booker for the legendary Miami punk venue, Churchill’s Pub.
“Obviously when I booked with Churchill’s it was a lot of local bands and I was working with a lot of different promoters,” Serrano says. New times† “Before I became a booker, I was basically a promoter, so I started with the dying art form of handing out flyers. Then I started Idle Hands Productions with my husband, and we started doing a lot of punk shows and brought down a lot of bands like Off! and Negative Approach.”
If anyone could make Las Rosas a haven for live music, it was Serrano. Indeed, after joining the venue as program director in March 2018, her first booking was the Nashville trio Thelma and the Sleaze. Since then, she’s occupied the Las Rosas stage with countless local and touring acts and engaged a handful of promoters to help keep it interesting.
Now the Allapattah bar has been celebrating reasonably priced drinks and lots of music for five years. The three-day event kicks off tonight with performances from Frogs Show Mercy, Manic Frequency, Yung Americans and Fox Gloves. Friday night’s lineup includes Air Hockey, Rick Guerre, Veta Ceti and Smelter, before closing things off on Saturday with a Physic Mirrors show, the band’s first performance since 2016.
Best of all, there is no cover. Although, if you’re a Las Rosas tribe, you already knew that. The venue prides itself on never asking entry, no matter who’s playing on stage.
“That’s what I think makes Las Rosas such a special place. The fact that it doesn’t charge for cover,” Serrano says.
That also makes the thrill of discovering new music a low-risk activity at the venue. Las Rosas is one of those places where you don’t have to look who’s playing that night. In fact, half the fun of going to Las Rosas is showing up, grabbing a seat at the bar, and then wandering into the back room to see who’s performing. If it’s not your thing, you can just sit back at the bar without wishing you’d gone elsewhere.
Or it could go the other way.
“I’ve had people walk in and not know that a band like the Casualties is playing and say, ‘Oh shit!’ says Serrano.
Serrano also had the chance to host Wargasm and Scowl, who were scheduled to open for Limp Bizkit’s show at Hard Rock Live on April 30. When the performance was canceled on the day of the show, the bands searched for a venue to perform and got in touch with Serrano.
“I got a call from one of my promoters, John McHale. He said, ‘Hey, I have a band that needs to do a show,'” she recalled. “It was a last minute show with Scowl and Wargasm, and we were just able to put things together and get that done for them.”
The lesson: you never know who you’ll see perform at Las Rosas.
The roses of the fifth anniversary. 9:00 PM Thursday, June 2 through Saturday, June 4 at Las Rosas, 2898 NW Seventh Ave., Miami; lasrosasbar.com. Admission is free.