By Page Watkins | August 26, 2019 | People
People travel from all over the world to experience Miami’s iconic club scene. There are bachelor parties and EDM disciples, the sun- and fun-loving celebrities and the Saudi billionaires. We get them all. And they all try to get to one man: Rob Crosoli, director of VIP services of 11 USA Group’s club E11EVEN, Rooftop at E11EVEN and Gold Rush. Ocean Drive spent 11 hours shadowing the Chicago native to see how he creates the ultimate nightlife experience.
Rob Crosoli is director of VIP services of 11 USA Group’s club E11EVEN, Rooftop at E11EVEN and Gold Rush.
I meet Crosoli at E11EVEN, where he is overseeing the arrivals for a private ’80s-themed party. Sixty-somethings in flamboyant button-downs and sensible cocktail dresses patiently wait in line. It’s not the typical E11EVEN crowd. (Imagine seeing your parents at a college pregame.) Crosoli slaps a “Welcome to the Shit Show” sign on his podium behind the velvet ropes anticipating what lies ahead, the antics that will go down in this very spot long after your parents have slipped into their Sleep Number slumber. Crosoli, who cites Dennis Degori, the creator and owner of E11EVEN Miami, as his longtime mentor, explains the basics of the club: Most tables are reserved in advance or sell out before anyone even shows up; though there are endless go-go dancers, theatrical performers and female “dancers” inside the club, this is NOT a strip club. The “dancers” are such pros you might not even notice their presence. Unless of course you arrive with bandz of Washingtons and are only at E11EVEN because of their presence. On a normal Saturday night, Crosoli is outside at the podium managing entry and catering to those who have purchased high-priced bottle-service real estate. This was no regular Saturday night. This was Saturday night of Rolling Loud with a performance by Travis Scott, and no doubt it was about to get insane.
Speaking of Rolling Loud, Crosoli has some business to attend to at the festival—a good friend and a great client is insisting he join him at his VIP table in the LIV SkyLoft— so we hop in Crosoli’s car and head to Hard Rock Stadium. Along the way we stop at Gold Rush to make sure the club is ready for the evening. (It becomes clear that Crosoli does a lot of checking in.)
We arrive at Hard Rock, and Crosoli hands out the wristbands. Problem: We are short artist passes, and the general admission entrance is a serious hike. But just like that, Crosoli spots a few of his friends in the music industry at the artist check-in and we score extra bracelets. From the artist area to the VIP section, Crosoli seems to know everyone: the rappers, NFL players, other nightlife cognoscenti. Pizza arrives; shots of tequila are poured.
Back at the club, we check in with E11EVEN’s operating partner, nightlife legend Gino LoPinto, to give a brief overview on how the night has gone so far and what we can expect moving forward. The crowds are trickling in, and Crosoli has to deal with a situation that is all too common: The wave of people who attended the festival are beginning to arrive at an already packed house, including the VIP table we joined earlier. We head to the rooftop restaurant for “dinner” (celery sticks and ranch dressing for Crosoli; a Caesar salad and french fries for me).
Crosoli and his team begin playing Tetris with their VIP tables, trying to keep the party moving while making every attempt to accommodate as many groups as possible, and by 3:09 his clients are seated with bottle service. During all the shuffling, I spot Sports Illustrated models Jasmine Sanders and Olivia Culpo. By 3:30, the entrance is nothing short of the “shit show” that Crosoli anticipated. A crowd has formed in the middle of the street, and from every direction you hear “Rob! Rob! Rob! Hey, can you get me in?” I notice model Hailey Clauson swimming through the masses to join her friends inside. The club both outside and inside is at capacity. This is just the nature of the beast, explains Crosoli, unfazed.
A black Escalade pulls into the club. Travis Scott— surrounded by cameras and his security detail—is escorted in for his performance. At the DJ booth, Scott kicks it off with hits “Antidote” and “Butterfly Effect.” Everyone is singing, the strobes are popping—it’s the type of energy that is nothing short of absolutely epic.
This is a crucial moment for Crosoli—and what sets the club apart from anywhere else. The performance has finished and he is now accomodating the endless industry crowd that joins the party at E11EVEN after their shift has ended. He visits with nightlife impresario Richie Akiva, the founder of 1OAK in New York City and Las Vegas, who is hosting the Sports Illustrated model crew. Bottles of Dom Pérignon are passed around (at 5 a.m. no one uses flutes). The energy is impossibly high. Crosoli’s goal is to eliminate the worry of time; E11EVEN is a place where the party, like the music, will never end.
And just like that, the sun is rising. My 11 hours with E11EVEN’s Rob Crosoli come to an end. I completely lost track of time. It was a good night.
Photography courtesy E11EVEN