Past the velvet ropes

A midsummer night’s clubs

 

The clubs

What clubs should you consider? Here are a few suggestions, taking into consideration the night, the doorman and the club.

LIV at the Fontainebleau on a Wednesday night; 4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; www.livnightclub.com

SET Miami on a Thursday night; 320 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach; www.setmiami.com

Rec Room under the Gale Hotel on a Friday night; 1690 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; galehotel.com/nightlife/rec-room/

Mansion on a Friday night; 1235 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; www.mansionmiami.com

Story on a Friday night; 136 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; story.wantickets.com/

Bamboo on a Saturday night; 550 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; bamboomiamibeach.com/

Nikki Beach on a Sunday night; 1 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach; www.nikkibeachmiami.com


It’s a Friday or Saturday night and you are ready to go out and get your party on. You know Miami and South Beach are among the best places in the world to do this, but since you don’t normally frequent the clubs and you’re not interested in spending a ton of cash on bottle service, you end up staying home and jamming out to your favorite Pandora station. Well that’s no fun!

Summer is the low season on the nightclub scene, and the clubs need people in attendance to buy drinks, create a vibe and keep the business running.

Bottle service, where you purchase a table and couch seating for the price of a bottle of alcohol (typically $250 to $400 per bottle, plus tax and tip, depending on the club) still drives the cash register, but it doesn’t mean you can’t work your way into the club to buy one or two drinks over the bar. Summer is the best time for a nightlife novice to gain access past those velvet ropes. Here are some tips on how to do it:

•  Dress sharp. Don’t show up in shorts and sneakers just because you were at the beach or pool all day. It’s time to dress up, like you’ve been out at night before. Dark denim or pants, dress shoes and a collared shirt for guys; dresses, skirts, heels or comfy shoes for women. It’s a party, not a barbecue, so let’s look good.

•  Follow your desired club on social media. Make sure to find the club(s) you want to attend on Facebook, Twitter, or similar sites. Several clubs will hold contests for entry and even artist meet-and-greets all via social media.

•  Get on a promoter’s guest list. Don’t know a club promoter? They are easy to find on Facebook. Just search for your favorite nightclub, go to their Facebook or Twitter page, and then see who is leaving comments. Many times those folks are promoters who need to grow their guest lists as they get paid for the number of people they bring to the club. They may ask if you are going to buy bottles, but never commit — say it will be a game time decision.

•  Look for events on local websites that involve a spirit sponsor at a nightclub. Many times websites like Miami.com and others will have a party with its own guest list at a nightclub that includes complimentary cocktails for an hour or two. Get on this list and go early. When the party is over and the nightclub begins its regular programming, you and your friends are already inside. They won’t kick you out, and you didn’t have to battle the doorman or pay a cover charge — which at most clubs starts at $20 and goes up depending on the talent headlining the night.

•  Show up early. Most nightclubs open between 11 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. If you arrive early, before the doors open, and befriend the doorman (remember, he’s working while you are not) you may be able to get in. Patience is key.

•  Provide a good ratio of women to men. Clubs want ladies in attendance and your odds will increase if you are in a group that has an even number or is skewed to more women than men. Four guys standing outside the ropes are going to have a harder time than two couples on a double date.

•  Consider the off-night. If your schedule allows you to stay out late on a weeknight, you stand an even better chance than on a Friday or Saturday night when everyone goes out. In Miami, off nights are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and some Thursdays. During the summer some clubs may close on those nights.

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