June 13, 2015 admin

| News & Observer

Calle Ocho – for years the heart of Miami’s Cuban-American community, hints at a Havana that was, that isn’t, and which might come to pass. And like Cuba, it has been changing.

Two iconic buildings in the 1500 block predate Little Havana – the Tower Theater, an art-house cinema, and the Ball & Chain, a nightclub that’s packed most nights. Try the Ball & Chain in late afternoon. It it looks something from a old Warner Bros. flick, with a high ceiling and quartet of belt-driven fans hung from dark wooden beams. Old Latin jazz plays on the sound system; jazz combos often start to play near the front door around 5. Out the breezeway in back, a parking lot has been retooled into an outdoor Latin music room. Desi Arnaz would be comfortable crooning “Babalu” to young lovers seated in the reserved banquette area.

Latin music is a highlight of nights at the Ball & Chain backroom, but the music ranges far afield. If you’re lucky, Marlow Rosado Y la Riquena, a top-flight, Miami salsa band is onstage.

Source: | News & Observer