Interviews

New South Beach Venue, Bond Lounge, Is a "Playground for Grownups"

"We wanted to create a playground for grownups," Jessica Bobay says. She's the managing director of Bond Lounge, Miami Beach's new venue, and her vision is clear. The 2,000-square-foot space is not furnished with swing sets and seesaws, but rather crystal chandeliers and tufted banquettes. All with the aim, she says, of "adding something new to South Beach, geared toward a more mature audience."

Bond Lounge is set in the location where Rokbar once stood. When Rokbar was bought by a new investor, Bobay was brought in to consult on just what to do with the new property."When we decided Rokbar wasn't able to be revived, we originally were going to create another nightclub, but when we looked around and saw that what our neighbors were doing couldn't be done any better we decided to create an after-dinner space with a nice setting. We took a lot of time to build something unique that people would want to experience. We wanted to compliment what was already here in South Beach."

After demoing the space over the last year and a half, Bond Lounge opened for business three days a week this past January: Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday nights.
Bond Lounge's Nightcap Tuesdays features house music played by Hugo M, with free drinks for ladies from 11:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., while Hideaway Fridays have DJ Royale spinning open format beats. The venue also just inked a deal to have Black Circus perform on Sundays starting March 15. "Black Circus is a concept from France that performs in different clubs. They have performers of all types, from drummers to aerialists in costumes that provide interactive fun."

Crucial to each night's entertainment, Bobay says, was bringing in Phillip Khanderhish to design the cocktail menu. Among the drinks for sale are the Threesome with Haig Club scotch, Tesseron Lot 90, and Grand Marnier. The Donald features Bulleit Bourbon, Root Liqueur, and Mexican Coke, and the Truffle Martini is concocted with black truffle vodka and olive brine served with a blue cheese stuffed olive. 
Bobay says Bond Lounge's ultimate goal throughout their years of planning was not to create a tourist trap but a regular stop for South Floridians. "This was a place built for locals. I've lived in Miami for seven years, so I tried to help create a place I'd like to go myself and cultivate an 'everybody knows your name' vibe." Bobay adds, "Hopefully this can be a trumped-up version of Cheers."

Bond Lounge, 1905 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-604-6001; bondloungemiami.com. Bond Lounge is open Tuesday from 11:30 p.m. to 5 a.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.
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David Rolland is a freelance music writer for Miami New Times. His novels, The End of the Century and Yo-Yo, are available at many fine booksellers.
Contact: David Rolland