Love Hate Lounge

This is Miami and, generally speaking, even the slightest hint of cellulite or a paunch is unacceptable in the realm of upscale night clubs. (Just watch the trailers for the South Beach documentary ClubLand). But resourceful club-hoppers know how to combat drunk munchies and extra pounds, namely with cigarettes and magic white powder.

Chunky party kids weren't much of a concern one recent Thursday night at Love Hate Lounge (423 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, 305-695-8616). Most patrons seemed like they had partaken in the aforementioned appetite suppressants, puffing away or rubbing their noses as if their brains were leaking out. That night's shebang was an afterparty for the grand opening of Univ Select Shop, a store specializing in skating/surfing apparel and accessories. Not surprisingly, those out in celebration were a svelte mix of surfers, skaters, and hipsters. Steven, a health-conscious partier, was drinking a vodka-and-soda with a splash of lemon. The low-calorie concoction is his cocktail of choice after losing 40 pounds in three months. Steven was also man enough to admit he had switched to light beer. Strange that a dedicated skater would be overweight; on the inside of his right arm was a tattoo of the Spitfire logo, a skateboard wheel manufacturer.

The location is appropriate enough, since the club's tattoo-and-motorcycle motif is more suited to surf/skate culture than, say, Privé, a couple blocks away. Love Hate, owned by Miami Ink stars Ami James and Chris Nuñez, is decorated with traditional tattoo art on the walls and bar top (think skulls and pinups with red lipstick), while a large mural that reads "In Memory of My Sobriety" serves as a fair warning of what is to follow. Just remember, the stripper poles in the small lounge area ain't there for nothing.

At some point in the night, a patron lifted up his shirt to unleash his hairy belly while sucking it in and out. Excited at the prospect of being able to reveal his cut, smooth stomach, another guy lifted up his shirt and gave Harry Henderson a run for his money as he performed an impeccable tummy wave.

 
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