Going out in Miami requires plenty of debate and inner monologue
. Do I go to the club and buy drinks, or do I pay rent this month?
This city is a cash cow for entertainment business owners, and we
, the cattle lining up at their doors, are milked for every penny. However, there might finally be a spot with a modicum of respect for its clientele.
Later this month, Copa Room
will open in Miami Beach in the space that once belonged to Mansion. Copa Room will be Miami’s first all-inclusive nightclub. It’s a concept that was perfected at Coco Bongo in Cancún. It is unique not just to the Beach but to all of Miami-Dade.
Entrance to Copa Room is a flat $80 on weekdays and $100 on weekends, with 50 percent off for Florida residents showing valid ID. Though that price might seem expensive at first, the entrance fee includes open
bar. Unlimited premium brands such as Absolut, Bacardi, Dewar’s, Jack Daniel's, and Tito’s served by 15 bartenders are at guests' beck and call. Think about this: Without naming names, at one particular club on the Beach, admission costs anywhere from $20 to $100, and one cocktail is easily another $20. The reality of burning money hits us before the buzz of those overpriced drinks.
A club-level ticket for $125 grants guests access to superpremium liquor (and there’s an additional choice for table service for $300). Regardless of which option patrons select, from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m., everyone is privy to the entertainment onstage.
Organizers promise about 12 to 14 shows, scheduled all night long, that include acrobats, cabaret dancers, and choreographed performances by celebrity impersonators doing their best Michael Jackson, Madonna, Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, and Freddie Mercury.
spoke to Copa Room owner Shawn Shahnazi, a nightlife veteran of more than 30 years and the man behind Wynwood's Prohibition Restaurant & Speakeasy. The venue operates under a pair of similarly themed mottos – "Shorts and tuxedos welcomed" and "No velvet ropes" – to encourage people of all walks to visit.
“It’s tourist-friendly, local-friendly,” Shahnazi
says. “If you’re visiting from Michigan and you got your linen shorts on and your polo, no one’s going to tell you: 'No, you’re not dressed properly.' There’s no age demographic; it could go from 21 to 75. There are few places families come [together]. Let’s say there’s
a husband and wife and they bring their 22-year-old son, 23-year-old daughter, they might do other things during the night, but there can be one night they can come as a family, and all of them will have a good time.”
Part of that good time is thanks to the live singers in the background. “The beauty of this — and this is not credit
of mine; Cancún perfected it and two or three other places as well, Acapulco and all that — is that the show never stops; the nightclub never stops. It’s not like you and I are talking, the music stops, and we have to turn around and watch the show; we can keep talking or keep dancing.”
Later on, around 2:30 a.m., there’s a risqué dance show. Throughout the evening, guests may encounter what the club calls “interactive vignettes” featuring characters such as Chewbacca and Stormtroopers, Beetlejuice, Charlie Chaplin, and the Mask. Confetti and smoke machines are exuberantly set off ten times a night. There’s a separate game room with Ping-Pong tables, pool tables, an Xbox One, 70-inch TVs, and a popcorn machine. In other words, it’s a proper party.
Copa Room is “all about overwhelming the senses,” Shahnazi
says. Indeed, there will be a lot going on Friday, January 27, the evening of the venue’s grand opening.
However, one thing Copa Room doesn't want to overwhelm — or overdraw — is our bank accounts.
1235 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 786-216-7785.