Post-Hipodrome frenzy: the fallout, a sudden void. And then...business as usual, clubs and one-nighters proliferating like mutant spores, feeding on the carcass. It's just business, club business, and there's no business like it. Thank God.
Official and unofficial paperwork is flying in the wake of Hipodrome's opening. Unofficial calls from management saying that certain promoters stole money. And officially, according to a Miami Beach Police Department report, Mary's Carpets of Hialeah has filed a fraud (worthless check) charge against the club: three bounced checks ($1830 total) written out for carpet installation.
Three police reports detailing the struggle between security supervisor Luis Silva, florist Vincent Guardino, and Sencle's co-owner Massimo Moranzoni (concealed weapon and disorderly conduct charges, everybody filing allegations against each other) are also pretty juicy stuff.
But hey, it's just business. The cops calling in all Beach liquor vendors to explain their new policies; the formation of the South Beach Entertainment Association, a group of concerned club owners who were, according to Island Club publicist Woody Graber, "polite enough to each other, although, God knows, they stab each other in the back often enough." Warsaw, triumphant after breezing through a recent Nuisance Abatement Board hearing, may actually get a commendation from the city for being such a good Just-Say-No citizen. Then there's the Beach commissioner who thinks the whole Nuisance Abatement thing might be a shakedown, a way of throwing business to a favored few: "Everyone always uses the same lawyers, and then you have an ex-police chief getting a security contract at these clubs. Don't you understand how it works?"
We don't know, maybe we only see the bad in people, but the unholy alliance between Lee Schrager of Torpedo and publicity-conscious businessman Abe Hirschfeld is really too much to understand - even for clubland. Now, in conjunction with Torpedo's John Jacobus, the gang plans to open a gay bar, Torpedo of New York. Kismet. Synergy. The Hirsch owns a building in Tribeca and has a few dollars to invest. The Torpedo boys have a bit of expertise. Opening date is scheduled for mid-January, and the Hirsch is happy, optimistic, positively gay in the old-fashioned sense of the word: "I have no idea of bar business, no idea of gay business. The Bible says who is smart, who sees the future. Two years ago I realize that Miami Beach needs a factory outlet. Now I know that Tribeca needs badly a bar. Gay people are people. Even though they didn't endorse me, and chose a fly-by-night candidate instead, I am doing this. They help the neighborhood: the Deco District, Key West, the Village. It's good for business."
So many new one-nighters, promotions, and theme parties lately that it's almost bad for business. Even our business. Boys of Brazil, the new Tuesday-only party at Torpedo, hosted by model/promoter Ernie Levy. Richard Pollmann's debut in the one-nighter scramble, last Friday's Insanity at the Institute. Weird business at Penrod's. The guys from Penrod's Gym, Mark Anderson and Jeff Grubb, hosting a mixed one-nighter called Meet Locker on Thursdays. Urgent phone calls from Penrod's management about not going gay - well, maybe a little more mixed, you know, a one-world club. And then, the ad in Antenna for the Tornado Ball (which debuted after the White Party this past Sunday) with the evening billed as being at "One Ocean Drive: Soon to be the premier gay dance club on South Beach."
Penrod's, hallowed hetero territory, doing that mixed beefcake number. MTV spending a weekend on South Beach, and thinking that Penrod's was still strictly for "frat boys from Nebraska." The dueling agendas at Post Mortem's dinner at Barocco Beach; the dinner at Media, attended by a group of New York journalists who whipped everyone into a promotional frenzy. Interview magazine photographer Patrick McMullan being feted at the Solar Cafe official opening. The debut of The Strand's Full Moon Club, with South Beach's French clique (Mickey Rourke! Jerry Lewis! Harley-Davidson!) out in force. Miami Mensual's Giorgio's fashion show at the Butter Club, everything beautiful, lush, and as the club's very talented designer, Carlos Betancourt, would have it: "Spiritual, inspiring, giving something back to the city."
Big changes at the Cameo, the holy dingy bastion for head-bangers/yuppie ethno-music voyagers/alternative culture fans. The leaseholders, Cameo L.C., turn back the lease to owner Zuri Hayon, who plans renovations: "I want to spend $300,000 or $400,000, get the place together, and make it into an upscale club. I'm talking with Warsaw about managing the space, but regardless, I still plan to do renovations." Disco Inferno negotiates a new lease and plans to carry on, as co-promoter Joe Delaney puts it, "kicking ass." George Nunez of Warsaw says he's considering taking over the space, "doing concerts and one-nighters, something different, if that's still possible on the Beach."
The Tatou people - Mark Fleischman, Susan Ainsworth, and assorted lawyers - were hard at work last week, and it looks as if the deal for Egoiste will finally be happening. Ian Schrager, of New York's Royalton, will be redoing the Paramount Plaza. This means that there will be some new, quite valid properties operating fairly shortly: Ken Zarrilli's Hotel 100 and his upcoming Raleigh Hotel at Eighteenth and Collins, Island
Trading's The Tides, and more. The shape of a real city.
Several weeks that shook the world - well, still a real small world - filled with bright moments. Columnist/personality/club promoter Jon Jon Bubblegum, at Cesar Augusto's party for fellow artist Carlos Alves on Espanola Way, with a great opening line: "It's so fashionable to hate you now." The immensely cheering photographer Ed Granda, at one party or another: "I'll tell you what - in this life, you've got to have balls the size of Miami Beach." The opening of the clothing store Meet Me in Miami, all salsa and snap. A small Louis Canales reception for the amazing Caribbean-style Marlin building on Collins Avenue - the condominium/hotel/recording studio/Jamaican restaurant complex, a joint venture between Chris Blackwell of Island Trading and DACRA - with guest appearances by Miss Kitty and Tara darling. The marathon ended with the tail end of an unofficial but intriguing restaurant opening: no food, model types necking as The Door's "The End" blared out over the speakers, vacuous stares. Conceptual. Vaguely unsettling. Truly South Beach.
Get the Weekly Newsletter
Our weekly feature stories, movie reviews, calendar picks and more - minus the newsprint and sent directly to your inbox.