February 26, 2010 | 9:00am
Not long ago Mokai, the white-brick-walled and coiffed club that appealed to imported models and jet-setting socialites, was on the verge of becoming just another burned-out nightlife staple of yesteryear. Luckily, last year the Opium Group
scooped it up, and two weeks ago, it relaunched. It boasts an enviable geographic position: adjacent to the Gansevoort Hotel crib that cradles another Opium Group offspring, Louis
, as well as One Group's newly opened Coco de Ville
Miami's own creative collective the Overthrow
capitalized on Mokai's holy stomping grounds and christened their new Wednesday party there Pyramid Club, heralding a new call for decadence in the night world. (The Overthrow has previously bolstered the buzz for Dirty Hairy at LIV, and currently works Misfit Fridays at Louis and Arcade Saturdays at White Room.) The ringmasters here are the Fez-topped masters Alexis Mincolla, Sam Baum, and Caleb Gauge. Friends and turntable and photography mavens run the rest of the show, and the crowd is a mix of fresh models, trailblazing hipsters, and creative professionals.
Smartly redesigned, Mokai succeeds in preserving its attraction of earlier days and wiping away the blemishes. Its redesigners have fused nouveau-Asian style with contemporary design, fashioning a lounge that features origami-inspired walls of cherry wood and lacquered mirrors in a bachelor-pad palette of black and white. The previous minimal space and inaccessible bar are no longer problems, either -- ample room has now been carved out for drinking, dancing, and dalliances. Accommodating and polished, Mokai proves dogs can learn new tricks, because this spot is clearly housing all the cool cats in town.
-- Aleksandra Marcotte