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Van Dyke, Lincoln Road's Legendary Jazz Venue, Plays Last Tune

Alicia Zuckerman

After almost two decades a famed South Florida live music venue is no more.

Located on the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Lincoln Road on Miami Beach, in the historic Van Dyke building built in 1924, Van Dyke Cafe had its last call on Sunday, Jan. 26. Patrons were invited for a special celebration and toast at 5 p.m. to commemorate the closing. The venue was well known for hosting live jazz and became a staple of the beach's people-watching haven, Lincoln Road Mall.

Eddy Balzola's band Oriente had played at Van Dyke's every second Sunday of the month for the past five years. On closing night, he addressed the cafe's patrons and asked that they continue to support the local music scene.

"So we’ve been here for about five years now ... upstairs at the Van Dyke, and if it hasn’t been us, it’s been every very, very good musician that there are so many of in South Florida," Balzola said. "Sometimes you wouldn’t think so, since this is not known to be a live-music town, such as New York and New Orleans and San Francisco. But not because of a shortage of excellent musicians who are living right under our noses everyday."

Van Dyke's website says there's a possibility the cafe will open its doors in the same building again, but in a smaller location, possibly in the spring.

Alicia Zuckerman is Editorial Director at WLRN, where she edits narrative and investigative audio journalism. In 2020, she was named Editor of the Year by the Society of Professional Journalists Florida chapter.
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