MI-IV: The Biggest Thing to Hit Miami Nightlife Might Be ... in Broward
We're talking about MI-VI (pronounced M.I. 6) at the newly revamped Gulfstream Park & Casino in Hallandale. Yes, Hallandale. Before the mind wanders too far, flashback to how everyone had the same question marks in their head surrounding opening anything in Hollywood.
In truth, Hallandale is right down Hickory Dickory Lane from the Dade-Broward county line. MI-VI's opening this past January is the first of many to come for Gulfstream's new swanky shopping and lifestyle center, The Village.
At the helms of it all is Miami mega man Gerry Kelly, whose last project was the 30 million dollar compound Karu & Y. He resigned in 2009 to open this place up and calls it the "British House Of Windsor meets Studio 54." Upon walking in, the first thing you will probably do is look up; the absurdly high ceilings almost force one to do so. Two sheer white curtains separate the front of the house from the VIP area, dance floor, and theater stage. Major kudos to them on the floorplan for actual creating a real-sized dance floor and not putting the VIP area where all the sinful gyration should go down (note to Opium Group). Neon laser lights and star-like twinklers fill the entire room and occasionally blackout for dramatic effect. The decor looks like someone stole the antique couches from the Haunted Mansion and then refurbished them, adding a slightly gaudy character to the whole ambiance. And what better way to boost any regular VIP's ego than to put them in chair that looks like it should belong to the King of England? Somehow the disco-Elizabethan thing works here.
The most obvious advantage MI-VI has for further venue domination is its size. My visit was this past Saturday, where it was packed but I didn't have to deal with a creepy stranger's sweat slicking on me while making my way to one of the many bars. The spot is also closer for most of those in Dade than the Hard Rock and there's tons of free parking (or valet for just six bucks). The full stage itself sends a signal to artists that they won't be singing off a balcony here, they can put on a full show to a strategically raised space. The same evening I visited, there was an over the top Alice in Wonderland premiere party, with almost every main character reenacting a tea party scene and Alice's trippy adventure on stage. They walked in and out of the crowd without breaking character and posed with guests. The night was a full blown production.
Overall, it is very clear to see that MI-VI is going for blood in South Florida nightlife scene...and they just might get it.