By Carlos Harrison

Imagine a giant block party in the sprawling courtyard of your hip neighbor’s 1920s house, with craft brews, a DJ spinning music mixes, a cool crowd, and colorful murals adorning the walls. 

That’s pretty much what Brick House is like, part beer garden and part house party. It’s a dance bar and gathering place set up in a prohibition-era house in the heart of Miami’s trendy Wynwood Arts District. It’s a place for friends and soon-to-be friends to meet and move their feet, or just take a seat and enjoy the sweet blend of music new and not so, with something for just about everyone.

“If you kind of want to get jiggy with it, this is the place,” said Jared Smith, one of the founders of Woodnite Radio, an Internet radio show that bills itself as the source of “what’s good in the ’wood.”

The original brick house the place is named for is now part of the indoor lounge area, and where the line queues up for the two unisex – but private – bathrooms. It’s also where you’ll find one of the two bars, offering small-batch whiskeys, like Michter’s US 1 Original Sour Mash and Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon, and an impressive variety of craft beers ranging from pale ales to full-bodied porters. They’ve got Florida Cracker from Tampa, Funky Buddha from nearby Oakland Park, and Thunderstruck Coffee Porter from faraway Asheville, N.C.

And, if you get hungry, there’s a selection of pub grub to sink your teeth into including baked mac & cheese bites with cheddar and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheeses, angus sliders with garlic aioli, or Venezuelan style cheese tequeños.

But the thing that sets people swaying, keeps them on their feet, and keeps them coming back is the music. There’s a rotating crew of regular DJs handling the mixes. Depending on the night of the week, you might find DJ A-Train, Affect, or DJane. The night I’m there, it’s Jimbo Slice, spinning tunes from today and before. There’s the pretty new “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson, featuring Bruno Mars; a little less so “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke; and a relative granddaddy, but perpetual favorite (at least in South Florida), “Is This Love” by Bob Marley.”

“I’m a very open-format DJ,” said Jimbo Slice. “This is my house right here. I try to mix young with old – everything.”

It works. First-time visitor Daniela Skirsky danced by a group of friends. They were there celebrating her birthday.

“It’s the kind of music we grew up with in middle school. But there’s new, too,” she said. “He’s mixing it up pretty well.”

A crowd enjoys the vibe as they pack into the outdoor patio area at Brick in Wynwood, just north of downtown Miami.

A crowd enjoys the vibe as they pack into the outdoor patio area at Brick in Wynwood, just north of downtown Miami.

- Patrick Farrell for VISIT FLORIDA