Chalk Miami promises to be the bar of the future. A clean, cool South Beach space with pool, ping pong and board games. This soon-to-open hotspot will serve the last few generations of folks with good taste, high standards, that are both a little ADD and drunk on technology. Last night at The Standard, they hosted a ping pong tournament to get people prepped and ready for their opening this October. “You’d be surprised how many closet ping pong players there are out there,” says owner Robert Chalk of a game close to his heart.
Chalk and his business partner Sayra Moto used to throw parties together at the location that is now Mansion, even before it was Level. Chalk says, “we’re fossils.” They remember South Beach before the models and hype. Their new spot will be less reminiscent of Bar Room and more of a pool hall that once was on Washington and 6th called Brants Break, laid back and fun. “I feel South Beach lost what I was accustomed to back in '96 to 2000, just very local driven,” Chalk feels it, “lost its flavor for awhile.”
In order to bring South Beach back to the people, these guys conceived of a new type of venue. Moto says it has “an upscale look, without the upscale attitude.” There will be no velvet ropes, but these guys are going all out. Servers will take orders on iPods, VIP rooms will have integrated touch screens where very important people can control their servers or the color of LED lights on the walls. Chalk Miami will have regulation sized pool tables and a bar made with fiber-optics to create a constellation of lights. The whole place is designed by Scott Reader who worked on elements for Disney World. Moto describes it as an “adult playground.”
Chalk Miami will sit in the same spot as the Hustler store and where Moto nostalgically remembers, “the bank we used to use to cash our checks from all the previous club stuff we’ve worked at.”
This venture is the brainchild of Beach-bred Chalk who used to travel with his pool playing dad, watching him play since he was four years old. Chalk is a massage therapist and trainer whose favorite place to play is the VFW. Sayra Moto managed Twist for six years, and before that had his own techno house label Tone Control Music. Both of them agree, besides pool and ping ping, Connect Four and dominoes are their favorite games to play.
They’ll have mixology to the max with 17 beer choices, five craft beers, and you can sip a Cocaine - Coke and 10 Cane rum. As far as music goes, expect something like Fat Black Pussycat, old school hip-hop and indie music.
They are already planning to expand to Wynwood next year, but you can find them there next week by the food trucks ping ponging and showcasing live art by Spinello Gallery’s Victor Nunez. Tune in to 90.5 to hear Chalk Miami appearing on WVUM for a series of radio shows. The bar will be open by Oct. 15.