Club + Bars

Miami’s notorious pink strip club just quietly reopened after almost a decade

Club Pink Pussycat: It’s baaaccckkk.

Sure took long enough. One of Miami’s most infamous strip clubs, with its neon pink sign lined with dancing naked ladies, has been shuttered since 2009.

During its heyday in the 1970s and ‘80s, the lounge gained a seriously bad rep as a sleazy haven for drug trafficking, prostitution, and money laundering with its fair share of (allegedly) nefarious owners like the Colombo mafia family.

Hialeah’s notorious criminal — Albert San Pedro, whose nickname around town was “The Great Corrupter” — even was involved for a time. Rumor had it San Pedro was so enraged that cops raided the place that he ended up slapping then Dade County Mayor Steve Clark (the mayor denied this).

For years, there has been speculation about its fate. At one point, there was talk the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority was planning to purchase the airport-adjacent building, which was built in 1925 and originally housed a restaurant. That never happened.

The vacant club languished for years, a garish pink curiosity for bored State Road 112 commuters or kids in the backseat going to abuela’s house.

No longer. An announcement on the website reads “The Pink is Back.” A small sign by the property tells the curious that it’s open for business.

The 8,000-square-foot former den of iniquity has been running (quietly) since early September, but Club Pink Pussycat will hold an official grand opening party Nov. 27.

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Entrance to Club Pink Pussycat

What patrons can expect — beside the obvious adult entertainment — are such new additions as 12 “pristine” champagne rooms, a VIP rooftop cabana, hookah service, and a revamped menu with such fancy dishes as lobster, churrasco, prime rib, and lamb-chop lollipops. The chef, from Italy, will make your Margherita pizza from scratch, and a live lobster tank will be coming soon.

Know that when you enter Club Pink Pussycat that this is not your run of the mill strip joint. There’s hardcore history here. Not Freedom Tower-type history, but c’mon: CPP was among the first in South Florida to offer full nudity.

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Club Pink Pussycat was Hialeah’s most infamous strip club, impossible to miss with its bright pink walls and colorful silhouettes of neon dancers, the club became an iconic landmark in our city. The building itself was erected in the early 60’s, originally home to an upscale family restaurant called “Bahamas Steak House” (Pic#4) but sometime during the 70’s it became a strip joint, it was among the first South Florida strip clubs to offer both liquor and full nudity. Over the years the lounge gained a notorious reputation as a crime ridden haven that included drug trafficking, prostitution and money laundering. The club was allegedly owned by the New York Colombo mafia family, as well a partial ownership interest by Hialeah’s most feared “Marimbero”, Albert San Pedro. In 1986 Metro Police raided the club, arresting several people, San Pedro was furious and summoned Miami-Dade Mayor Steve Clark to his Hialeah compound, and according to an FBI informant present that day, the enraged San Pedro slapped the Mayor across the face; the raids stopped, and the liquor license was quickly granted back. Club Pink Pussycat has been closed since 2009, after many run-ins with local and Federal authorities; it’s doubtful it will open again(As a strip club), the area is slowly gentrifying, its central location makes it a target for developers and even Miami-Dade Expressway Authority, who has slowly been buying all vacant lots around it. As a kid, this bright pink building always piqued my curiosity when my parents drove by, despite its shady past, I find myself rooting for this building to survive, maybe it could reinvent itself as a restaurant again; I like buildings that are full of character and these walls could definitely tell some stories! #hialeah

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But now Club Pink Pussycat is ready for a rebirth.

CPP spokeswoman Candy Hannan told the Miami Herald the club is busy putting the finishing touches on the place for the grand opening.

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Madeleine Marr

“It’s going to be very special,” she said. “The whole place is completely restored, but we retained a lot of the history. The cat on the sign is more famous than Garfield. It’s iconic.”

Let’s see how they do this time around.

Don’t you at least want to try the churrasco?

Details: Club Pink Pussycat, 3890 NW 36th St., Miami. 305-633-4000, Open daily 4 p.m. to 5 a.m. 21 and over. Admission $10.

Celebrity/real time news reporter Madeleine Marr has been with The Miami Herald since 2003. She has covered such features as travel, fashion and food. In 2007, she helped launch the newspaper’s daily People Page, attending red carpet events, awards ceremonies and press junkets; interviewing some of the biggest names in show business; and hosting her own online show. She is originally from New York City and has two daughters.