Friday, January 21, 2011

SFL Friday -- Saying Goodbye to the Miami City Club.

Say what you will, but I personally will miss the passing of the Miami City Club:
One of the last vestiges of the old Downtown Miami social scene is coming to an end.
The Miami City Club in the Wachovia Financial Center is closing Friday and will be converted into office space. Real estate firm Optima Ventures has signed a lease to move into the space on the 55th floor of the iconic building that is the tallest office tower in Florida.

It's not a huge shock. Membership at the Miami City Club had dwindled to about 280 members from nearly 900 in its heyday. Most days lunchtime crowds were thin. An experiment as a private cigar club failed and the club went back to its roots in 2009. Recently, they were offering monthly memberships with no initiation fee to lure members. 

What can I say?

I liked the boozy atmosphere, the waiters in white linen who helped serve the buffet, invariably consisting of some kind of "corn salad" and various meats and greens and so forth, all served with bonhomie, I will miss them all.

I will miss the exclusive passage to "hidden" rooms, serving the same exact food as what was available in the main room, I'll miss "adding it to my account" as I did so often, hoping the firm will pick up my tab, I'll miss the views, the good times, the parties, the turkey vultures hovering over my meal.  I'll miss it all.

I will especially miss the staff, the long-timers who suffered through various regimes, changes in orientation, all to find that the business model was just not going to happen any more.
I also have a suggestion for the wide open space on the 55th floor -- food trucks, lots and lots of food trucks.

In fact, I propose we serve the exact same food -- except we serve it from various food trucks sprinkled through the space on the main floor, making it "exciting" to have a corn salad from a food truck, "exciting' to have several small burgers (aka "sliders") served from a food truck literally in the middle of the hallway where the club used to meet their guests, and then finishing with a "gourmet pizza" and "fish taco" coming right out of the kitchen, except served from a "Fish Taco Food Truck" strategically placed to obscure everyone's view.

The food will taste so much better that way.

Viva Miami!


Anonymous said...

you have jumped the shark - food trucks are the next big thing. i hear there will a cigar truck, at the end of the food truck line.

Shoot The Lawyers said...

One of the last vestiges of the WASP culture. The decline was slow but steady. The so called culture is exemplified by an emphasis on proper dress, language, and manners, with a heavy whiff of snootiness. Any attempt at social perfection becomes a huge target for satire and WASPiness in America was no exception. I remember watching the Three Stooges as a kid. Almost every episode was a finger in the eye to the upper echelon's mores. It was hilarious. There are some other comical moments in filmdown where the ethos was panned. I remember well the scene in Double Indemnity where Edward G. Robinson (an insurance agent) enters his boss' office sans suit jacket but with white shirt and tie. He is scolded for not wearing a jacket in the office. His response on the way out the door: "next time I'll wear a tuxedo." Gotta love it. But it was all downhill from there. From the abolition of women's tee times, the decline of the private country club, leisure suits, casual Friday's, anti smoking campaigns (remember the "smoking jacket?"), "health awareness" and the politicization of just about everything in our society to the point where one's privacy is as much the province of the state as the individual, WASP culture is history. The City Club's demise is just one more symptom of the trend. In some ways that may be a good thing but for me, there was something admirable about these places, an Oasis of civility and manners surrounded by an ocean of avarice and crudity.

Anonymous said...

Where will Bowman Brown eat?

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Erica said...

Pretty helpful data, thank you for the article.

faruk hassan said...

South Florida parties have been mentioned and compared to those internationally. Some of the clubs in south florida clubs. are know worldwide!