Gale Force

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On January - 30 - 2013
Josh Wagner, John Meadow, Bobby Rossi, Amy Sacco

Josh Wagner, John Meadow, Bobby Rossi, and Amy Sacco


By: Mary Jo Almeida-Shore

Our new favorite South Beach hotspot, Rec Room, at the sleek and stylish, Gale Hotel recently opened its doors on Thursday, to the delight of locals, New Yorkers and the international jet set. LDV Hospitality’s owners John Meadow and Curt Huegel, officially unveiled the cozy yet chic subterranean lounge, the Miami sister of the VIP upstairs lounge at New York’s, den-for-the-fabulous, No. 8, on the evening of January 17, debuting the lounge’s weekly BeachKred party along with a celebration of LDV Managing Partner and Miami nightlife veteran Joshua Wagner’s  birthday.

It’s no surprise that the lounge was filled to the rafters before midnight, with pretty young things and brilliant/entertaining not-so-young ones; or that the exclusive underground vibe and music had guests giddy with laughter and tearing up the dance floor until the sun came up.  After all, Rec Room comes to us through the collaborative efforts of  LDV Brand Partner, Amy Sacco, lauded as “Nightlife Empress” by the New York Times, well known for NYC’s famed Bungalow 8 (THE place to be a few years ago); LDV Co-founders and Principals, Meadow and Huegel, whose impressive roster offood and beverage outlets include some of the most critically acclaimed restaurants, bars, and lounges in the United States, and nightlife impresario, Bobby Rossi, who heads up LDV’s nightlife division.

On opening night, the entertainment included special guest DJ Maseo of De La Soul and a surprise performance from Matisyahu. Following the kickoff party, each evening included renowned DJs going back to basics with selections from Rec Room’s expansive vinyl library (yes, you read that right). As expected, Sacco was in attendance nightly, and shared: “The Rec Room concept is a perfect combination of New York’s underground vibe and the laid-back feel for which Miami is known. The Miami Beach outpost will transport guests back to a time where nightlife was about good friends and great drinks in an atmosphere where everyone’s a VIP. I am excited to bring Miami a nightspot where every guest feels right at home.”  Rec Room is designed to resemble a friend’s intimate 1970’s basement, complete with wood paneling, accentuated by weathered palm tree prints; refurbished stereos and over 3,000 vinyl records which all add to the nostalgic atmosphere of the stylish yet understated lounge.


“We at LDV are extremely excited to provide a product that will complement the world renowned nightlife that South Beach offers. We will take our product seriously but not ourselves too seriously. With friendly, attentive service and an affordable product, the locals will have a place to call home, and anyone visiting our great city will be able experience a nightlife destination where they can taste the local flavor. At Rec Room, one should expect the unexpected,” says Wagner. 


What does this mean? No lofty cover charge or door drama, quality cocktails and entertainment at an approachable price, a wide variety of fun dance music and surprise front-row performances by top musical acts.


Rec Room’s opening was accompanied by a multi-day itinerary of intimate events including exclusive preview tastings at Dolce Italian, the Gale’s signature restaurant; sunset cocktails aboard a private yacht; a cocktail party at the hotels’ sophisticated, refined cocktail bar, Regent Cocktail Club– helmed by expert bartender, John Lermayer and private tours of the property and expansive rooftop, led by owners Keith Menin and Jared Galbut.


When asked about the Gale, LDV Principal and co-founder, John Meadow expressed, “I have always had great love for the grandeur of the iconic Collins Avenue properties from the hotel perspective however I always looked for more accessible, comfortable dining options in Miami. The Gale, by virtue of truly capturing the essence of a boutique hotel allows for both. With Dolce Italian we offer Miami Beach an authentic modern Italian dining experience, classic heartfelt cuisine, served in a casual yet elegant setting. The Regent Cocktail Club represents a very unique opportunity to bring the art of the crafted cocktail to Miami Beach, where we offer unparalleled mixology in an intimate and sophisticated yet welcoming environment, and I love that the entrance is on the charming and quiet James Avenue- a hidden and understated gem amidst all of the often overstated excitement. Lastly, our Rec Room lounge, inspired by our upstairs of No.8 in New York City, offers an alternative to the mega club Electronic Dance Music scene that has taken over the Beach. We are playing seventies rock and funk and old school hip hop on vinyl, catering to an eclectic mix of locals, our No.8 regulars, and in the know tourists. Overall, The Gale is a truly exciting opportunity for us to become a further pillar of the Miami Beach hospitality community that we have admired for so long.”

Leave a Reply