La vida local

The Big Ang theory: Miami Monkey open on the beach


You have the chance to hang with a reality royal if you decide to do your imbibing at Miami Monkey.

The jamming, festive bar is owned by Angela Raiola, better known to TV viewers as Big Ang, of the VH1 reality show of the same name. She was the breakout star of Mob Wives, and got a spinoff. Boom!

You can understand the appeal when you see her in the flesh, kind of like Snooki’s Maxi Me.

Ang is big, all right.

Literally: Lips, chest, nails. Figuratively: Smiley, affectionate, loud.

The woman just wants to have fun, supersized. Must be in the genes. Raiola’s uncle, the late Salvatore “Sally Dogs” Lombardi, was a major player in the Genovese crime family. He loved socializing, too.

At the recent grand opening, the larger than life bon vivant was nursing her favorite cocktail, an espresso martini, and posing for cellphone pics with anyone who asked.

Like Leeza Duque, a 20-something waitress at John the Baker in Pembroke Pines. “I came here for her. I love her,” says Duque, thrilled.

Ang, who has a condo in Pompano Beach, welcomes the attention. The tattoo-happy mom of two (husband Neil Murphy is back in the picture) would probably do a shot of Patron with you, no problemo.

“What do you think of this place?” she asks a patron in that raspy, Harvey Fierstein-on-hormones squeal. “Nice, right?”

Miami Monkey is indeed a snazzy beauty, without the attitude or dress code. The apres beach spot is done up in a cool, modern meets Art Deco way, nothing like her Irish-esque pub in Staten Island, N.Y., The Drunken Monkey.

On the second floor of the Netherland building at 1330 Ocean Drive, Miami Monkey as of press time had no signage, website or human being answering the phone.

That’s OK. Once inside, you realize this place is something, something.

Ask a ridiculously good-looking, flesh-baring bartender for the signature Drunken Monkey, fruity, frozen and instantly intoxicating.

The staff is good natured, especially by SoBe standards. Maybe because the gregarious boss is on the premises a lot of the time, calling the shots and occasionally downing a few.

Theme nights are in the works.

“Gays love me, so something for them, definitely,” says Ang, puffing away on a cigarette. “I want everyone to come here! It’s gonna be the best!”

Not everyone.

When a reporter suggests inviting The Real Housewives of Miami to come over and pound a few for the publicity, Ang frowns. That’s not a natural look for her.

“We would take them down!”

Madeleine Marr

Read more People stories from the Miami Herald

  • The music scene

    Vine star Shawn Mendes finds breakthrough on pop charts

    Six seconds isn’t a long time, but Vine superstar Shawn Mendes made the time count when posting cover songs on the social media platform.

  • Flashback Friday

    Jennifer Lopez is still smoking as she enters middle age

    The People Page does an occasional feature embracing Throwback Thursday and Flashback Friday, a fun social media trend in which users post pictures to celebrate the passage of Father Time. Here’s our #TBT offering for the day:

  • Celebrity birthdays on July 24

    Comedian Ruth Buzzi is 78. Actor Mark Goddard (“Lost in Space”) is 78. Actor Chris Sarandon is 72. Comedian Gallagher is 68. Actor Michael Richards is 65. Actress Lynda Carter is 63. Director Gus Van Sant is 62. Actress-singer Kristin Chenoweth is 46. Actress Laura Leighton is 46. Actress-singer Jennifer Lopez is 45. Basketball player-turned-actor Rick Fox is 45. Actor Eric Szmanda (“CSI”) is 39. Actress Rose Byrne is 35. Actress Elisabeth Moss is 32. Actress Anna Paquin is 32. Actress Mara Wilson is 27. TV personality Bindi Irwin (“Bindi: The Jungle Girl”) is 16.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category