After an 11 year run, Mansion nightclub (1235 Washington Ave., Miami Beach) is shutting down the house.
Original owners the Milon brothers bailed about six months ago. New owners Luis Puig of Club Space fame and Justin Levine are involved and will reportedly reopen the space as Icon (although we hear Paradise is also a contending name). They are also allegedly opening a new place called Heart in the space formerly known as Nocturnal (50 NE 11th St., Miami) and are in negotiations to purchase House nightclub in Wynwood. Word of this closing comes on the heels of the recent $5 million settlement by Mansion’s former sibling Cameo to the family of a man who was allegedly beaten outside the club by a bouncer.
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The Opium Group, which at its peak owned Mansion, SET, Cameo, Opium Garden, Prive and Mokai nightclubs, no longer exists, replaced by Icon Management. Roman Jones, aruguably the face of Opium (he even had his likeness on rolls of toilet paper in the women’s bathroom at Mokai and made headlines with his Ugg fur boots he styled courtside at Miami Heat games during their recent NBA championship runs), is now a minority investor.
“Mansion has been going down hill for a long time,” says a clubland insider who chose to remain anonymous. “Bottle service is dead.”
Which begs the question – are warehouse-sized nightclubs about to become extinct on South Beach? (See: Broken Shaker).
In other clubland news, some of the remaining “Opium Group crew” along with former SBE nightlife operator Greg See (Hyde Beach at SLS) who started out at Opium, says our source, “bought Adore nightclub (2000 Collins Ave., Miami Beach) and will open Ora,” which is said to exude vibes of the halcyon days of South Beach nightlife (think club SET, when it first opened). And Chris Paciello, a nightlife icon himself, is opening a small nightclub “with a New York vibe” on South Beach soon.
Labor Day weekend is Mansion’s official swan song, with Dutch superstar DJ Nicky Romero, currently ranked No. 8 in the world by DJ Mag, playing on Friday night (Sept. 4). Romero will be the last headliner to play at Mansion, but the nightclub will be open for around two more weeks (think until mid-September) using house DJs and still slinging drinks to the beat. Why stay open for a little bit longer? Who wants to shut the doors when you are still planning your renovations and setting up dates for contractors, electricians, interior designers, etc. Once the doors do close, expect a quick nip and tuck (isn’t that so Miami?) as investors want Icon to be ready for its closeup during Art Basel Miami Beach (first week in December).
Clubland we hardly knew ye.
Miami.com Editor Fred Gonzalez contributed to this report.