House, Wynwood's First Megaclub, Faces Fight From Downtown 24-Hour District

Categories: News

Club_Fight.jpg
House nightclub is the latest casualty in the ongoing fight between Wynwood and downtown establishments.
Mark Lowe struggled for the right word to capture his idea for Wynwood's first and only major nightclub. "It's definitely not a lounge, but I wouldn't describe it as a megaclub either. It's really its own entity -- it's a house," Lowe told New Times. That was 2011. Two years later, his club, House, has yet to open.

Delays are nothing new in Miami's nightlife scene. But Lowe -- who has been involved in opening 14 other clubs over the past decade, including Living Room in Fort Lauderdale -- says his House ordeal has nothing to do with managerial missteps or financing snafus. Instead, he says, it's due to collusion among rival clubs downtown and city officials.

See also: House Might Be Wynwood's First Proper Nightclub

"The truth is that they know Wynwood is a threat," says Lowe, who sports a shock of blond hair and modelish looks. "The downtown clubs are trying to wipe out any business outside of their neighborhood by any means possible."

Lowe's particular beef is with Michael Slyder, co-owner of 24-hour nightclub Mekka and the president of the Miami Entertainment District Association (MEDA), which represents all-hours clubs downtown.

Slyder is a major player in Miami's nightlife scene. Earlier this year, Miami Police started handing out citations like Halloween candy to Wynwood clubs after Slyder complained they were staying open past their licenses.

See also: Wynwood Bar Owners Claim Cops and Downtown Clubs Are Conspiring Against Them

Now Slyder is leaning on local politicians and city officials to delay or prevent House from opening, Lowe claims. Slyder did not respond to numerous requests for comment, but emails obtained by New Times bolster Lowe's argument.

In one email, sent October 2 to Vanessa Trujillo of the city's Planning and Zoning Department, Slyder writes on behalf of MEDA to ask for "assistance in filing an appeal" to House's application for a 5 a.m. license.

(Although House is commonly thought of as Wynwood's first megaclub, it is technically across the street from Wynwood in the Omni district and therefore eligible for a 5 a.m. license.)

"We recently discovered that a Supper Club Exclusion was approved by the PZAB Board on 9/23/13 for a proposed bar that is located at 1915 NW Miami Court," Slyder wrote to Trujillo. "This proposed bar does not meet the requirements of a Supper Club."

Another email sent to Daniel S. Goldberg, legislative assistant for Commissioner Marc Sarnoff, asks to meet to talk about House and Wynwood's pending increase in liquor licenses.

My Voice Nation Help
27 comments
Mechanesthesia
Mechanesthesia

This is sickening... I love Mekka.  As someone who works overnight and has odd hours, Mekka is one of the few clubs I can still go to in the middle of the night, when other clubs are about to close.  But I am tired of this greediness where they are so desperate to make money they have to stoop to practically TRAPPING US in the clubs like prisoners.  We can't even step outside and away from the ear breaking loud music to have a cigarette in peace or make a phone call without having to repay. And with these after hours clubs it's ridiculous. They are open all day and night long, you can be there forever if you wanted to, but you can't go outside, to maybe just maybe get some snacks to eat so you can get some sustenance and energy to keep going, or to at least sober up. And god forbid you left something in your car!

The whole "no re-entry" thing is a cheap scam from greedy club owners. There are many clubs out there that don't need to stoop to this level and are still successful. I honestly do think this is one of the things that is killing the economy and the development of downtown and their club/entertainment areas. 

Club hopping is practically impossible, but in Broward it's commonplace. You see people stepping out of the club to check out another one before coming back. I remember in Las Olas, a few times we would go to a club, then walk a few blocks to catch a friend's band, and go back to whichever club.  We all still pay, and the money is circulating, and there is a lot of street activities with restaurants and cafes open late. Same goes with South Beach. It's no wonder why there's practically no where to eat in downtown in late hours. Everyone is trapped inside the clubs!
[Although, this is not everywhere in downtown, just some particular ones...]

creatureofthenight
creatureofthenight

The article isn't about some battle of nightclubs. It's more than that...

This isn't the first article on MEDA and their dirt. They did it to me in Wynwood , with no warning btw. If HOUSE is able to do 5 AM, any limitation is questionable. There are several places that were approved for 5AM service, including Bardot, The Stage, and another spot on 26th and North Miami. Sarnoff actually voted for The Stage , with no "cooling off. " Wynwood will start pursuing 5AM within a month. 

So um ya... it definitely smells fishy . Progress people!

nytelifeaddict
nytelifeaddict

Living room was actually an attempt at being a nice club. Downtown clubs make no attempt to be anything but what they are... drug pits. Also isn't every club owner a snake oil salesman? LOL

nytelifeaddict
nytelifeaddict

Tommy, NightlifeKing, and KarmaQueen great response LMFAO is MEKKA paying you for that?!

Tommy
Tommy

Duh....don't you get your liquor license all straightened out BEFORE building out a club??? Come on, this is silly....it is not a Supper Club. So to cry foul over having your Supper Club scam denied and claim other are corrupt when you're the corrupt one...silly silly silly.

KarmaQueen
KarmaQueen

Lowe's 14 nightclub fantasy is part of an investor-seeking snake-oil sales pitch. That's all fine and well for his purposes. But unfortunately his words have dangerously evolved.

The journalist legitimizes accusations of corruption - by city officials and downtown businesses - with Lowe's false résumé. 

New Times has a journalistic obligation to be fair and true. As you can see below the above article uses Lowe's fib - but as the writer - to boost his credibility preceding the carefully quoted claim.

I commend Mr. Miller for having an opinion, but that does not exclude him from verifying his sources (mis)representations

NightlifeKing
NightlifeKing

I would Like Mark Lowe to name all 14 clubs he has designed and successfully opened ????  


NightlifeKing
NightlifeKing

I would Like Mark Lowe to name all 14 clubs he has designed and successfully opened ????  The guy is a wanna be that opened a club in fort lauderdale (Riverfront) which was dying for any sort of new nightlife.  Get real he will never be able to compete with real nightlife in Miami. 


bananarepublic
bananarepublic

When is someone who investigates public corruption going to get involved here and take down MEDA, Slyder and Sarnoff?  Guaranteed payoffs in this banana republic!  "upsetpartygoer - glad you found a place to go, but you obviously haven't seen their page lately.  From what I heard, even Sarnoff was saying how amazing it was inside when he saw it a few days prior to the hearing.

upsetpartygoer
upsetpartygoer

So, this is supposed to get us to support this club now? All we've been seeing on house's facebook page is bullshit images of random shit. I unliked that page a while ago because these two years of false promises have just left me upset over time. I just decided on heading to liv and story and enjoying good times away from the drama.

pReputrep7efExe
pReputrep7efExe

Meh, I'll pass on this. What happened to the music? Also, there are always two side of the story. I've heard on how much of a prick Mark is too. Not going to deal with this.

tactam
tactam

Mekka sucks and HOUSE is taking frustratingly too long to fucking start! Mark just needs to get his shit together and dip. Enough ass hats trying to create more douchebag clubs IMO.

giaquart
giaquart

anyone considering going to Mekka is insane!!

the place is a garbage spot of miami with lowlife selected staff. god save miami. 

ralphydee69
ralphydee69

I just worked there Friday night. The place is beautiful. Still needs work though. The location is not considered Wynwood. Wynwood begins on N.W. 29th Street & N.W. 2nd Avenue to be exact & goes up to N.W. 36th Street. Little Haiti goes on from N.W. 36th Street. The warehouse district that can be considered Overtown is between N.W. 20th Street & N.W. 29th Street. Well, it's roughly about about a block or two away from Overtown but everyone will say it Overtown.

giaquart
giaquart

Wynwood is now full of trash art and beer drinkers on every corner. I don;t think Tony Goldman(RIP)  had this in mind, but hey, piss smell is normal for Miami

ckliving
ckliving

Club is taking forever to open as is! Yeah Slyder sucks and Wynwood is already full of douche I def agree with that! Wynwood doesn't need another fake ass place for fake ass people. Mark needs to just move on.

WhyNotNow
WhyNotNow topcommenter

Sarnoff is a tool and will keep up this bs with the pz board forever. I do hope Lowe sues the shit out of all of them. One minor point of contention, house is in neither wynwood or omni. That is overtown, my friends. Just fess up. Overtown is the NEXT neighborhood.

Anthonyvop1
Anthonyvop1 topcommenter

And yet most of you are willing supporters of more regulation and cronyism.



Kris Rodriguez
Kris Rodriguez

What Slyder is doing is soooo typical of conducting business here in Miami. The corruption/black balling is disgusting out here. Why cant they just let our city grow and have a variety in nightlife? Like the saying goes, "the sun comes out for everyone".

Frank Castle
Frank Castle

@jessica .... wynwood is not far from downtown

Jessica Bailey Weatherspoon
Jessica Bailey Weatherspoon

I rarely go clubbing in Miami but this story catches my interest. I see a bigger issue--it bothers me that Slyder ( with the suport of the other downtown clubs, I'm sure) is preventing someone else from being successful. This is a capitalist society and one of the characteristics of such is having competition. Yet they are trying to prevent competition to have a quasi-monopoly. Also, unless you're really trying to have a crazy night, you're not going to leave downtown (especially if you're already drunk) and drive all the way to Wynwod. The downtown guys should factor in the fact that most people stay where they started the night off, so depending on the night, you weren't getting that business anyways.

Frank Castle
Frank Castle

good article, last time i went to mekka it was a dump, dont know if they improved it but that is wrong they should let house open, it would improve the area and create more jobs plus miami needs more variety in the nite life, its an open market now ever since club space has a new owner

Craig DeMott
Craig DeMott

Wynwood is already full of Douche...they are just too cool to realize it

Andrew Foster
Andrew Foster

I'm rooting for the 24 hour district. Keep Douche out of Wynwood.

bananarepublic
bananarepublic

@WhyNotNow if this place is in overtown, the people should embrace it - who else has the balls to put a club in that part of town?  is it just me, or does anyone else find it funny how they (sarnoff and friends) seem to treat this place different by cutting their alcohol off at 4am... if clubs make money for 5 hours, say 12a-5a, sarnoff effectively cut 20% of their business... I wonder how much he is getting as a kickback from slyder for doing that?


Now Trending

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...