Miami Ink's Ami James and Chris Nunez sell their stake in Love Hate Lounge on South Beach
It's true, tatted-up club rats. The Miami Ink guys — Ami James and Chris Nuñez — have cashed out of Love Hate Lounge on South Beach, leaving DJ Selfborn (the dude who started the club's most successful night, its Classic Sundays hip-hop party) in charge, along with silent partner Deville Social Club LLC.
Selfborn has dubbed his incarnation of Love Hate the "world's first DJ bar," which means it's a comfortable neighborhood joint where the people playing the music are more than just button pushers; they're some of the best spinners in the MIA.
New Times: So how'd this all come about?
Love Hate Lounge
DJ Selfborn: I found Love Hate about four years ago to do the Classic Sundays party. I play '70s, '80s, and '90s music there. It's the only consistent party of its kind on the Beach, not just 45 minutes of old-school. Over the years, it went from the bar's slowest night to the busiest. It was home. Throughout this time, I'd expressed my desire to own a place. I've been DJing for 21 years. So I got tired of the trials and tribulations of the game. I was saying, "Watch, one day I'm gonna have my own place to do this and that." So when the Ink guys were leaving, they approached me and the silent partners with the idea for this deal.
How long did the transition take?
It took about a year to get it all aligned and in order. On May 1, I took over and got my keys, and now it's under my control. I've franchised the business from Deville Social Club, and I leased the name and the branding. The experience is centered around the music and more than just buying drinks. We're open seven days a week. And we've got turntables and a mixer.
How about the party plan?
We have a reggae night, a European house-y party-bus night, open format, and an industry night with half off everything. We're gonna be incorporating live performances and catering to local artists. And you can also catch DJs like Red Alert, LS One, Rich Medina, and Entice just hanging out. It's a DJ bar.
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