Last weekend marked the launch of Rec Room in South Beach's the Gale Hotel. Now, the 84-room boutique hotel, backed by LDV Hospitality, is gearing up for the opening of the Regent Cocktail Club, situated at the rear of the hotel.
Like Rec Room, the Regent Cocktail Club is a departure into the past, a subterranean disco lounge that plays groovy tunes.
Through a quaint terrace in the back of the hotel or the hotel's hallway, you'll find a perfect blend of cocktail lounge and bar that pays homage to the Regent when it first opened in 1941.
- Rec Room at the Gale: Records & Cocktails
In its soft-opening stage, the Regent is building the personality of a speakeasy from the time when young professionals loosened their ties after work. The vibe and look here are up to personal interpretation. The ambiance could very well be Chicago during the Roaring Twenties, Mad Men's portrayal of New York in the '60s, or Woody Allen's rendition of Paris during its golden age from a Midnight in Paris. Perhaps present-day Miami is in a similar stage, also evolving and forming its creative personality as one of America's great cities. The Regent will teach us about a cocktail culture where every one of the cocktails is designed to tell a story.
A chalkboard allows you to take your pick of specially formulated cocktails like the blue train, starting at $14. Animated flamingos make the drinks fun and remind you that, although this looks like someplace else, it's modern day Miami. Everything here seems to have been thought out to create a sense of nostalgia. Even the bartenders, wearing fedora's and red bow ties, fit the part. In terms of size, the Regent is almost insignificant, with four cozy leather banquette areas and a bar that sits only sits eight.
But with funky patterned rugs, muted heavy curtains, and wooden walls dimming down the already dim lighting, the Regent gives the impression of a place designed to spark intimate and creative conversation.
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A coat rack situated in the middle with a hat hanging from it brings a smile. A series of questions is proposed as to what it's doing there. The first time we popped in midday we thought it was a mistake. Maybe someone left it there, but after visiting at night, we realized this is part of The Regent's shtick. And its style is Shangri-La.
Light bites will be offered at the bar once it's open, along with cigars on the street-side patio, and live music in the lounge. This explains the piano situated in the back that's begging to be played. We're hoping the piano is for less looks and more for flappers, singers, and all that jazz.
Follow Carla on Twitter @ohcarlucha.