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By Terrence McCoy
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By Ciara LaVelle, Kat Bein, Carolina Del Busto, and Liz Tracy
By Pepe Billete
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By Kyle Swenson
And Then There Was Fancy
As Studio A, downtown Miami's shrine of hipster hopefulness, hits its third quarter, the club can look ahead to the season. With Art Basel bacchanals only a month away and holiday parties, M3, and Winter Music Conference looming, the live-music-oriented club could conceivably make it to its first anniversary in March 2007.
But it won't greet day 365 with its original cast of operators, who all presented a façade of collective grit and camaraderie ... that is, until the moment they cut and bolted. Just days ago, Lara Coppola at age 24, one of Miami's best-known and most respected club promoters told ignoremagazine.com editor Hunter Stephenson that things were going swimmingly at the venue (60 NW Eleventh St.). Then recently she announced in a subdued e-mail: "As of today, I will no longer be working at Studio A. The time has come to move on."
Pressed for an explanation, Coppola, whose platinum shag and kohl-rimmed eyes belie a reserved and deeply discreet demeanor, would say only that there were some issues about money, some questions about direction. Then the native Miamian added with a half-laugh: "I know this sounds like an irrational thing to say about nightclub culture here, but I have my reputation to consider. That's all I can really say."
This past September another Studio A founder, Pedro Mena, age 29, beat Coppola to the door. He was returning to New York City, he said, to get married and take a break from the club biz. Yet Mena's newly taken vows haven't kept him from returning to the nightlife scene: New Yorkmagazine reported in its October 6 issue that he was back on the turntables at the Shout! party at Manhattan club the Delancey.
And 39-year-old Georgie Seville, Studio A's co-owner (with silent partner Robert Nowak), shares Mena's absence from Miami and presence in NYC media and milieus. Seville just opened the nightclub Studio B in Brooklyn's Greenpoint neighborhood and was photographed for a spread in the September 26 New York Times Magazine about "rockers, freaks, punks, mods, gays, and straights" making their homes on the Lower East Side. Contacted by The Bitch about his apparent decampment from A to B, Seville had no on-the-record comment other than to say he didn't know when, or if, he'd return to Studio A.
This seemingly leaves the pencil-mustachioed Fancy to run the show. The carefully dressed onetime record producer, who is often spotted at the club's door attending to admission matters, wouldn't identify co-managers.
On a recent Tuesday around 9:00 p.m. insanely early by Miami nightlife standards about 200 people stood in line outside Studio A, waiting to see the Brand New Heavies. This is a respectable turnout for a live show on a weeknight by a band that hasn't broken new musical ground in nearly a decade. Yet Bitch analysis reveals this demographic which is defined more by behavior than age, gender, income, or race is not necessarily the one that keeps a club in business. The small, same-people-at-every-show group of scenesters usually gets comped at the door. And once the open bar and/or drink tickets run out, they don't buy fourteen-dollar Stoli-and-cranberries, eight-dollar Red Stripes, or six-dollar Diet Cokes. And drink sales, even above the per-head door take, are the mainstays of nightclub revenues. (Neither Nowak nor Seville would speak about how Studio A is doing financially.)