This is The Gatekeepers, in which Eater roams the city meeting the fine ladies and gentlemen that stand between you and some of the hottest and hardest-to-get tables in Miami.
[Photo Courtesy of Cortney Cates]
Meet Greg See, the Director of Nightlife at the SLS Hotel South Beach. See has been in the business for a long time, running the show behind some of Miami's most sought-after nightclubs for over a decade. After being a DJ in Texas, he moved down to Miami and opened Mynt Lounge, helped develop Rokbar and Vita, eventually became Director of Operations for the Opium Group (where he oversaw spots like Mansion, Cameo and Mokai) and has most recently become the man standing between you an evening at the coveted Hyde Beach. Eater chatted with See about what it's like behind the scenes.
It's midnight on a Saturday. What's the wait to get in?
The wait can be a solid 15 – 20 minutes, unless you're a well-known local or client. The good news is we have an amazing bar/lobby area outside the rope so you can get "fired up!" while you are waiting.
What about earlier or later in the night?
We close at 2 am, so midnight is our peek time.
Is there anything one can do to make the wait shorter? How about if you're slipped some cash gifts?
Just a big smile and friendly demeanor. Eye contact and a proper introduction will always catch our attention and go a long way. It's the people huffing and puffing or rolling their eyes at the rope that tend to wait a bit more.
What increases your chances of getting in?
Your style. It's what sets you apart front the rest that make us believe you I'll be adding some element to the party. A great mix of clientele is the best recipe for ambiance and energy which drive the night.
What pisses you off the most when people are trying to get in?
People that grab your arm and intoxicated people that cross the rope.
How many seats are available on a given night?
The inside/outside seating is very large combined. So if we have clear skies, we can seat 400 people. If it's raining, our seating gets decreased to 120. Some people believe it or not will sit in the rain.
Who are some of your favorite celebrity customers?
David Beckham, Lenny Kravitz, Lebron James, Little John, Jennifer Lopez, Dave Chappel, and Michael Bay
If the club is at capacity and there aren't any tables available, how do you accommodate a VIP?
You buy them a shot and trade "good ole days" stories at the lobby bar while you get a table ready. Someone is always willing to give up their table with a little incentive.
Have there been any outrageous requests you couldn't accommodate?
Someone wanted a zip line over the pool for their birthday. We couldn't figure that one out?
What are the challenges you face managing a current hot spot place like Hyde?
The weather is the biggest challenge. Being that our spot is largely outdoor and Florida weather is unpredictable, the weather can change all aspects within minutes.
What's your favorite night at Hyde?
Actually, the Saturday day party is my favorite. Great mix of people and the energy is incredible for an afternoon party.
When you're not working at Hyde, where do you go to have a drink?
SET is two blocks away and a great place to take clients when Hyde closes. Hyde at the American Airline Arena is also great to take clients that want to see the Heat play.
What's your best gatekeeper tool?
Our best "tool" would be the hotel property itself. The SLS, The Bazaar and Katsuya attract and incredible crowd of local and visitors from around the world. We're able to personally invite a great crowd to Hyde Beach for the evening. And it's hard to beat the transition from dinner at The Bazaar or Katsuya to drinks at Hyde Beach!
· All Coverage of Hyde Beach [ ~EMIA~ ]