Where to bump elbows (and more) with the stars.
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THE FLORIDA ROOM
WHY: Because its subterranean ’20s classiness makes you feel bad in a good way. The place looks neat, gets messy and arguably has the best cocktails in town.
CLAIM TO FAME: Lenny Kravitz designed the place.
WHO GOES: Well-off suburban kids who’ve become well-off young adults
NAMES TO DROP: Suggest to suave doorman Granville Adams you’re tight with nightlife director Josh Wagner.
INSIDER TIP: Show up very early for live-music events and plant yourself and your crew at the front tables. You’ll have an arm’s-length view of really famous musicians.
AURAL STIMULATION: Brendan O’Hara and the Big Bounce’s funk and a shockingly good live-music program that’s seen the likes of the Roots, the Killers, Talib Kweli and Perry Farrell
OVERHEARD: “I’m going to see if Josh can get Matisyahu to perform at my little brother’s bar mitzvah.”
DON'T: Order Red Bull and vodka. Tell the bartenders what types of drinks you prefer and they’ll guide you to something novel like their Rising Sun, made with The Yamazaki whiskey, fresh crushed ginger, Drambuie, Aperol and clover honey.
TABLE RESERVATIONS 411: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Delano South Beach, 1685 Collins Ave., Miami Beach;
WHY: Because it’s a small, exclusive club, which makes you feel big and exclusive (as does drinking inside a prism of diamond-shaped beveled mirrored tiles)
CLAIM TO FAME: Bobby Brown showed up to perform for the club’s reopening in October, followed by Wu-Tang’s Raekwon the week after.
WHO GOES: An upper echelon of ravenous nocturnals who’ve been doing this for years, and doing it with so much self-importance it almost seems believable
NAMES TO DROP: Managing partners Karim, Nicola and Rony
INSIDER TIP: Start with creative, pre-game cocktails at the Living Room, right off the W’s lobby.
AURAL STIMULATION: Eccentric elements blended with both poppy and hard-house mash-ups, and an occasional nod to hip-hop. A balance to please both edgier insiders and bottle spenders.
OVERHEARD: “Which do you prefer, the old disco ball or the new rotating 35-inch hollow sphere of pulsating lights built by Dutch design house Moooi?”
DON'T: Expect to be noticed as the big man on campus here: Everyone’s too busy noticing themselves.
TABLE RESERVATIONS 411: email@example.com
W South Beach; 2201 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; wallmiami.com
WHY: There’s something seductive about descending a staircase into a shadowy low-slung space that’s set up to be one of the most exclusive dance venues in town.
CLAIM TO FAME: The first-night festivities were a birthday party for Drake, with buddies Alex Rodriguez, LeBron James, Elle Macpherson and Ed Norton in attendance.
WHO GOES: House-music loyalists who’ve graduated from the megaclub experience
NAMES TO DROP: Jimmy Vargas
INSIDER TIP: At the far end of the room behind the pool table lie some banquettes, in case your dance moves actually work and an opportunity for some canoodling presents itself.
AURAL STIMULATION: Thursdays it’s Erick Morillo and friends from Subliminal Records, Fridays and Saturdays it’s open-format and house, while Sunday gets the big-name spinner from Saturday at LIV in a much more intimate environment (so think Paul Oakenfold or Sander Kleinenberg, Tiësto and Jack E, close enough to shake your hand).
OVERHEARD: “The name for this place was inspired by the arcade that stood here in the ’60s. But they didn’t even have Pong then.”
DON'T:: Ask for tap water. You’ll be denied.
TABLE RESERVATIONS 411: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fontainebleau Miami Beach, 4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; arkadiamiami.com
Cover shoot: Behind the scenes with Pitbull for the October 2014 issue of Ocean Drive magazine.