The up-and-coming neighbourhood of Brickell is not only recognised as the financial district of the city, but it is rapidly developing into a stylish and much sought-after residential area. And with that comes a demand for classy bars and restaurants to meet friends and colleagues and celebrate the chic lifestyle synonymous with Miami.
Enter 8Street Brickell – a boutique bar owned and operated by Mark Meram with a capacity to host exclusive VIP parties and DJ sets whilst also offering an intimate hangout for locals, as well as international and national tourists visiting the city.
Mark’s vision was to create a sophisticated modern twist on a classic Speakeasy style, with the interior of this venue creating an homage to the style and design ethos of the 1920s. Including wood and button tuft upholstery and a soaring and undulating ceiling enhanced with LED lighting.
8Street Brickell was designed by Callin Fortis and his team at Bigtime Design Studios as part of a brand-new condo complex. “From the offset, we knew this venue was going to be something special” explains Callin. “Equally it was going to demand a high-level audio installation which would complement, not detract, from the overall look and feel of the bar. In particular because of the complex LED-mapped ceiling grid we were designing as a focal point of the bar’s architecture. It was a natural fit for us to work with high-end integrator Paul Van Puffelen and his team at Southern Technical Support Inc in order to help us realise Mark’s distinct vision of a modern-day speakeasy.”
Mark was clear on what he wanted in terms of the audio specification. “We were looking for a versatile audio system which would be well received by guest DJs for special events, but would also provide reliable perimeter and distributed audio coverage for our daytime service, as well as our lounge night concept. We wanted speakers that would accentuate the space and act as part of the design – basically to become a piece of art themselves. To be honest, we had Void Acoustics in mind long before we appointed our consultants.”
System design integrator Paul Van Puffelen, from Southern Technical Support Inc worked in close conjunction with audio partner Mike Harris of Harris Audio Systems to specify the Void Acoustics installation. Together, they answered the design brief for the high spec, sleek looking audio system with a complete turnkey solution, including the installation and programming of a full Void system including the iconic Void Acoustics signature Air Motion speakers accompanied by Air 8 and Airten V2 fixtures; the IP-55 rated Cyclone 55 for the outside patio; completed by Stasys 218 subs with Bias Q2 and Bias V9 amps. All products were further enhanced with custom pantone matte black colour finish to reflect the designer’s project look – a finish provided by the Void production team which did not disappoint.
Paul smiles as he reflects. “The main challenge was specifying and installing a high-end audio installation into a brand-new venue during a pandemic! There were numerous delays during 2020 which, in the end, served us well, as it allowed the individual trades to come in and perfect each aspect of the installation without any real time pressure because all venues were closed at the time. In addition to which (and in many ways most importantly for us) it allowed us the time to implement a strategic acoustical treatment. We ended up with as much time as we felt we needed to tune the room and ensure there was no negative impact to the quality of the sound system resulting from any mechanical noises, air conditioning units and other structural elements of the build.”
Whilst the Brickell neighbourhood has a plethora of bars and restaurants and visitors and locals of the area are spoilt for choice, there is nothing like 8Street Brickell in the vicinity and the bar really does offer something truly unique. Mark is thrilled with the outcome. “My wish was to create an approachable, but entirely unique and memorable experience for anyone stepping foot inside 8Street Brickell. In fact, offering our customers a chance to step back in time and celebrate that moment in history where the speakeasy was THE place to secretly meet, enjoy good humour and the eccentricities of the day! All that with a feel of the 2020s, not the 1920s! The sound system was one of the most important aspects of the space. A futuristic and quality Void Acoustics sound system helped create this intrigue and our guests’ first reaction when they walk in is instantly one of awe and curiosity in the sound system.”
Mark credits the expertise and work of the Southern Technical Support Inc team as central to him achieving his vision. He saw them seamlessly deliver his goals, whilst also keeping the integrity of the bar’s design intact.
“We couldn’t be happier with the look and sound of the Void Acoustics sound system. I have always been an avid fan of Void Acoustics and knew that they were the only speakers on the planet that would give us the sound quality and look we so desperately desired for the venue.”