The Regent Cocktail Club
The Regent Cocktail Club, situated in the Gale South Beach Hotel, celebrates Cuba and all its cultural glory every Wednesday with its weekly Havana Nights. Beginning at 7 p.m., nationally renowned mixologist and Cantinero Julio Cabrera gets the Carnival of Santiago de Cuba-themed party started with The Regent’s signature quaffs, including the Hotel Nacional and the Cuban Viejo. For the retiring crowd, a dominos tournament offers low-key competition, and an on-site cigar roller demonstrates this centuries-old technique for those who wish to complement their cocktails with a fragrant smoke. But the real attraction, of course, is the Cuban Carnival dancers, who salsa with eager volunteers.
Mango’s Tropical Café South Beach
Ocean’ Drive’s most colourful nightclub, Mango’s Tropical Café South Beach is so successful it has its own Mango-Coconut Voli Vodka, of which “Mr. Worldwide” Pitbull is both front man and stockholder. Celebrating its 25th year in business, the sidewalk café offers nightly musical entertainment from an eight-piece band (think congas, bongos and horns) and visual prowess from professional dancers demonstrating salsa and samba steps, among others. Other intriguing attractions? The waitresses conga-ing tableside (and table-top) and customers who can’t help but do likewise.
Club Tipico Dominicano
Pan-Hispanic culture comes in all forms in Miami, as Club Tipico Dominicano proves. Here, a family-owned Dominican restaurant is transformed into one of the hottest Latin clubs in Miami every weekend with live bands and DJs spinning salsa, merengue, bachata and even reggaeton until very late. This establishment is situated in Allapattah, a bit northwest of downtown – visitors unfamiliar with the area may want to check a map (or with a concierge) before heading out after-hours on a Saturday night. Still, it’s great fun to up-end a bottle of Presidente with the big-hearted Dominican community that resides here.
While E11even Rooftop in downtown Miami is technically a 24/7 nightclub filled with LED video walls, go-go dancers, aerialists, burlesque performers and other high-tech stuff – in other words, no kids allowed – that definition doesn’t preclude a Latin night. Every Thursday offers the bilingual, high-energy Brazilian Batuke Samba Funk band that mixes it up with Afro-Samba, Brazilian Big Band Batacuda, Soul and Rhythm and Blues. If that isn’t hybrid enough for you, keep in mind that premium bottle service and an upscale food menu, not to mention a stellar view of the city, are also on offer.
Moca Café and Lounge
For some of the hottest Latin dancing in the city, check out Moca Café and Lounge. Locals head here on Thursday nights, when DJ Puerto Rican Pete and DJ Harv play a mashup of salsa, merengue, kizomba, chacha, bachata, mambo and more. The restaurant serves until 11 p.m., when there’s no cover for ladies; after that, it’s a mere $5 for entry. Be advised that both the entrance and parking are in the rear – in front of the police station. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
Written by Jen Karetnick
Ball and Chain bar © Ball and Chain
Dancers Yanira and Rafael in action © Mango's Tropical Cafe