Adam Gersten went through law school and worked as an attorney for five years just so he could open a bar. Why else would anyone get a law degree?
"It took me a long time to finish school, and then I really needed a law degree," Gersten says. "I thought, 'Nobody's going to let me open a bar...'. It's been a 10-year process trying to convince some people they should lend me money to open a bar."
His efforts, and his experience in the legal field, helped materialize his goal. And from Jan. 20-Feb. 3, Gersten's Gramps Bar will celebrate its grand opening.
"We want to feature one band from Fort Lauderdale or West Palm Beach, and one band from Miami," he says.
Radio-Active Records' Mikey Ramirez is on the DJ bill for Friday's opening party, along with the Electric Pickle's DJ Benton. Miami's Little Beard will perform, as well as Fort Lauderdale's Suede Dudes.
When Gramps soft-opened the Friday of Art Basel weekend, liquor deliveries were coming in one door and customers in through another, Gersten says.
Since that madness, he and his staff have been working out bar details, but they have decided on a cocktail menu. The Jewban Princess (with Manischewitz wine and sweet liqueurs) is already popular on peer review sites such as Yelp!, and the Fort Union is a beer shandy topped with rye and garnished with beef jerky.
"The goal, from the beginning, was to have this great cocktail program... But I still wanted it to be a neighborhood bar," the owner says.
He's reluctant to specify what drinks will be included in the two-for-one happy-hour specials, but the week's events are already mapped out.
Tuesday night, bassist Danny Gonzalez of the Jacuzzi Boys will spin rock B-sides and rarities, and guests can participate in a giveaway for tickets of Dave Grohl's new film "Sound City," screening at O Cinema.
Wednesday will be a simple celebration of the bar's recently acquired cable service. The Heat game will be on.
Thursday is the night for Sloppy Seconds, the '90s and early-2000s dance party where guests can win $69 in singles via dance contest, and runners-up get a baby.
"I don't know what that means, but we'll leave it up to interpretation," Gersten says.
Friday is grand-opening night, with Ramirez's set, the live bands, screenings of "Creep Show" and its sequel, music trivia and electronic acts through the evening.
Saturday will feature a performance by the Jacuzzi Boys.
Sunday's party is called Relax, and it's put on by the group behind Peach Fuzz Fridays at Grand Central. Roast lechon will be available for game-watchers, as it is Super Bowl Sunday.