👑 How Queen Aretha turned this local studio into a Hit Factory

Subscribe to The New Tropic

Get the latest Miami news and events, plus giveaways and special access to fun things around the city delivered fresh to your inbox every morning.

Today's newsletter is sponsored by Canvas.
CANVAS condos offer 97% financing. You can now be a grown-up and own property with only 3% down. Schedule a tour today. Learn More ».
Promote something you ♥ here.

👑 How Queen Aretha turned this local studio into a Hit Factory

Karim Bryant and Nicole Gates opened Lil Greenhouse Grill, Overtown's first late night restaurant (Credit: Roshan Nebhrajani/The New Tropic)


If you read this newsletter on the regular, you’ve probably been hearing a whole lot about Overtown the last few months. Big changes are coming to the neighborhood, once known as the “Harlem of the South” before I-95 was built through the middle of it.

Miami WorldCenter opened its fancy doors on the eastern edge. The county pitched it as a location for Amazon HQ2. Big names like restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson started talking about taking their talents there. David Beckham considered building his stadium there (he’s looking further west now). Jamila Ross and Akino West, a young couple with some serious hospitality industry cred, opened up a fancy, foodie bed and breakfast in a historic building. Felecia Hatcher and Derick Pearson, the powerhouse couple behind Black Tech Week, opened up a coworking space. Karim Bryant and Nicole Gates opened up Lil Greenhouse Grill, the neighborhood’s first late-night restaurant.

So on Sept. 6, we’re going make a night of exploring Historic Overtown, the people who have kept it great, and those writing the exciting next chapter.

We’ll kick the night off in A Space Called Tribe’s backyard with beer and wine, then head to Lil Greenhouse Grill for appetizers, then the iconic Jackson Soul Food for dinner, then the newly reopened Overtown Performing Arts Center for a nightcap and dessert with a local funk band.

Best of all, these spots are all within a block of each other, so we’re doing it all on foot, which you never get to do in Miami. Get your tickets and join us! We’ll see you out there.

Dig this newsletter?

Refer your friends

Want to support your local newsletter and help your friends be in-the-know? Share your unique referral link, and get great swag when they sign up. Sign in to grab your unique link.


The monster Aug. 28 ballot got you down? Head to the polls knowing what’s up.

  • Three of the five top Democratic gubernatorial candidates support legalizing recreational marijuana (but two don’t). The top two Republican candidates do not.
  • All the Democratic candidates support Amendment 4, which would restore voting rights to felons who have completed their sentences. The two top Republican candidates do not.

Get to know your choices for the next governor of Florida in our voter guide.

This time your yoga can win you some free Athleta gear instead of just likes on Instagram! Sign up for the Yoga Scavenger Hunt happening Aug. 25. Learn More ».
Promote something you ♥ here.


Coming into focus. Newly released timelapse videos of the FIU pedestrian bridge being moved into place give us a much clearer glimpse of what happened in the days and hours leading up to the collapse in March that killed six people. The videos show that four workers were on top of the bridge tightening the steel support rods just moments before the bridge fell – and that action may have been the thing that caused catastrophic failure. (Miami Herald)

You think your life has drama? Move over for North Miami Beach. In the last few months alone, the mayor resigned as part of a plea deal after violating campaign finance laws, the city manager and attorney have been forced out of office, and a commissioner has been arrested on charges of bribery, grand theft, and money laundering. But the new mayor says the city is now getting along just fine. (Biscayne Times)

Goodbye Cheesecake Factory and Gap. Hello… offices? Half of the open-air mall CocoWalk has been demolished to make for sleek new buildings that developers say mark a new chapter for the Grove’s commercial district, which has been struggling for years, even as the rest of the nabe booms. Not everyone in the historic neighborhood is psyched about the changes, but most say it’s desperately needed. (Miami.com)

R-E-S-P-E-C-T. With reports that Aretha Franklin is “gravely ill,” fans worldwide are listening on repeat to some of her greatest hits – some of which were recorded right here in the 305 at North Miami’s Criteria Studios, including “Spirit in the Dark” and “Don’t Play that Song (You Lied).” Her patronage helped to make the studio world renowned, and it remains a lowkey powerhouse today, now known as the Hit Factory. Here’s how Queen Aretha made it happen. (Miami Herald)

GOOOAL. David Beckham scored two wins this week. A judge threw out an attempt to block a November referendum on whether to build a soccer stadium on the Melreese golf course, and the owners trademarked a truly dope logo for Miami’s future Major League Soccer team. That means it’s officially up to voters in November whether to let Beckham and his partners build their stadium on the public golf course near the airport. (Miami Herald, Miami New Times)

Basta. The Florida Department of Transportation is fed up with SunPass vendor Conduent, and has slapped the company with an $800,000 fine for wreaking havoc on drivers all over the state with their technical screw-ups. The agency also announced an investigation into the company, and said that any overdraft fees as a result of back-to-back-to-back SunPass withdrawals on their bank accounts as Conduent caught up with back payments will be reimbursed. (Palm Beach Post)

The fight’s not over. The City of Miami commission agreed this week to let voters decide on their November ballot whether to make the mayor a “strong mayor,” aka the most powerful person in city government (right now it’s the city manager). But the super contentious debate on whether to let it go that far unearthed a whole bunch of issues with the process that will probably add up to a legal challenge before November gets here. It’s definitely not a done deal for Mayor Francis Suarez. (Miami Herald)

Everyone's voting early to elect Andrew Gillum 4 Governor, the only candidate that represents us. Find out where to vote. (Paid for by New FL Vision) Learn More ».
Promote something you ♥ here.

Things to do


🕉 Saturday, Aug. 25: Do a yoga scavenger hunt with Athleta on Lincoln Road – corrected date  (South Beach)

🍳Wednesday, Aug. 29: Learn how to cook nature-inspired food with Chef Ilde Ferrer at the Yard (Wynwood)

🍗Thursday, Sept. 6: Explore Overtown’s food, drink, and music on a neighborhood crawl (Overtown)




🔫 Talk gun control and mobilizing for change (South Beach)

🎬 Catch a series of flicks from the Miami Short Film Festival (Wynwood)

🎮Check out the new menu and play some games at The Anderson (Upper East Side)


🤣 LOL with Florida’s funniest female (Cutler Bay)

🥁 Celebrate Afro-Cuban dance – through Saturday (Downtown)

🎸 Catch some of the 305’s best up and coming bands (Homestead)

🐢 Squeal over a sea turtle hatchling release (Key Biscayne)

⛸️ Skate all night long at Super Wheels (Kendall)

🎵 Throwback at Laser Fridays (Downtown)

🍸 Party after hours at the Bass (South Beach)


📻Get behind the scenes at WDNA for National Radio Day (Coral Way)

🍻Celebrate Veza Sur Brewing’s first birthday (Wynwood)

🎨Check out experimental art, film and workshops at 777 Mall (Downtown)

🌱Explore some nature and volunteer at EcoAction Day (North Miami)

🛥️Learn the history of Stiltsville and more on a sunset cruise (Downtown)

🛶Explore Key Biscayne Key by kayak (Key Biscayne)

💻Learn some coding at this one-day bootcamp (Wynwood)


📚Learn ancient book-binding techniques at the Wolfsonian (South Beach)

🌳Take a bike tour through a lush tree canopy (Coral Gables)

😅Check out a comedy night at The Corner (Downtown)

🎨Watch artists create pieces inspired by climate, jobs, and justice (Liberty City)


🍺Learn how to parent over a cold beer at Lincoln’s Beard (Westchester)

🍞Learn from Zak the Baker how to launch your own food biz (Wynwood)

🗣️Up your public speaking game (Downtown)

🧘Downward dog with a DJ (South Beach)

Going to one of these? Take us with you! Email a pic to [email protected] or tag @thenewtropic on Instagram. See more upcoming events on our events page, and add your own events with a New Tropic membership.

Why should you vote for Matt Haggman? Because he helped fund some of the most vibrant community institutions in Miami! (PD 4 by MattHaggman4Congress) Learn More ».
Promote something you ♥ here.


But we’ll see you at a Space Called Tribe on Sept. 6, right? Get your tickets ASAP.

– The New Tropic

Archived Newsletters