You drive into what appears to be a shady, rundown strip club on the side of U.S. 1 and hunt for parking in the back. Past hobbles of hipsters in the parking lot and bearded bouncers donning Ray-Bans and vests, you make your way to the bar. Flying Lotus blares through large speakers in the packed space. You’ve never heard the song, yet everyone seems to know the lyrics. The crowd’s attention is directed to the front of the room. Three artists stand before two floor-to-ceiling canvases, Sharpies in hand and black Krink paint at arm’s reach. This is Felt Tip Tuesday.
The live art show takes place at 11 p.m. on the last Tuesday of every month at Fox’s Sherron Inn, or Fox’s Lounge, a restaurant and bar considered an old Miami staple. Local artist and Fox’s regular Josh ‘Baghead’ Hall started Felt Tip Tuesdays six months ago. Inspired by the European movement “Secret Wars,” Baghead modeled the style after the artists’ work. Unlike the movement, however, the artists at Fox’s work together in a style Baghead describes as “urban monochromatic freestyle.”
Each month, Baghead finds local volunteer artists to participate. While the artists do not sketch their work in advance, they do plan out a theme for the night at a weekly brainstorming session.
“We like to keep it current… like the BP oil spill,” Baghead said. Other themes have included Kaiju, Japanese monsters and Halloween, which featured black and orange paint. March 29 will feature a food truck as the canvas.
Sophomore Shelby Klein enjoys the scene like many other UM students.
“I’ve come here every Tuesday night since high school… it’s definitely a different crowd than UM,” she said.
Founded in 1946, Fox’s name has an interesting history. Its official name, Fox’s Sherron Inn, was Mr. Fox’s misspelling of his daughter’s name. The “inn” part of the title, on the other hand, used to mean, “Welcome, come on in,” but did not advertise a hotel.
“It’s that old dark place where you bring your mistress,” Florida National College student Peter Jimenez said.
Ownership changed several months ago, however, and frequenters have noticed a difference.
“It was more moody before,” said Miami resident Alex Darren, who noted the removal of couches and tables. Jarod Taylor Earl, general manager of Fox’s, credits these changes to recent plans for a renovation, including the construction of a riser and the addition of new lighting.
Nevertheless, Tuesdays at Fox’s are as busy as ever. The last Felt Tip Tuesday attracted between 200 and 300 people who spilled out onto the sidewalk. Fox’s also features live music or DJs many Tuesday nights and open-mic nights known as Outside the Box at 10:30 p.m. every Saturday.
Earl hopes to convert the scene to a rock ‘n’ roll one, and therefore frequently invites local bands to play, which he promotes via Facebook, flyers and word of mouth.
“[The bands] play for high fives and Yuenglings,” Earl said.
The crowd is equally pleased by the bar- nights with live entertainment of any sort promise such drink specials as $1 beers, two-for-one drinks and happy hours.
Despite the discrepancy between the old-school hip-hop feel of Felt Tip Tuesdays and his rock n’ roll vision for the lounge, Earl is pleased with the event.
“Anybody can just go and get down on it- it’s a free-spirited kind of thing,” Earl said.
In fact, members of the audience are frequently encouraged to participate- as long as they work exclusively in black felt-tip pens.
“Miami needs culture,” Baghead said. “I saw it in Europe, in Chile, and I just thought ‘Miami needs that.’”
Allison Goodman may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and Margaux Herrera may be contacted at email@example.com.