THE PARTY HAPPENS ON SATURDAY, AUGUST 16
Ever since Score in Miami Beach opened its doors back in 1998, the owners and management have been committed to providing top-notch entertainment and being on the forefront of innovation. Last year Score went as far as to move into a new location, at 1437 Washington Avenue; this move was designed to take their parties and theme nights to another level, uniting everyone on the Beach, gay and straight, in a love of music. They have reaped the benefits from the move: Score is more successful than ever before, and considering how well-regarded and internationally-known the nightclub has always been, that’s surely saying something.
Score loves throwing theme parties for their anniversary celebrations, and Sweet Sixteen is no exception. Owners Luis Morera and Billy Kemp will be welcoming everyone to their floral-themed anniversary bash on Saturday, August 16. They will be surrounded by staff and their loyal customers — who over the years have truly become their friends and their family. The night will start at 8 p.m. with a new tradition: in lieu of a block party, the first floor lounge will be hosting a cocktail reception, featuring infused liquors, and hand-made sushi that incorporates exotic ingredients, such as fruits. Performers will be on hand to entertain all the partygoers every hour on the hour. Sophisticated house beats will be spun for everyone’s enjoyment and will be provided by DJ Latrice Perry.
At midnight, the party will move from the lounge to the upstairs club room for what is sure to be one hot dance party that South Beach won’t soon forget. Grammy Award-nominated DJ and producer Abel, who is well in demand all over the world and calls Miami home, will be spinning all night long. Entertainment will be provided by eight very attractive dancers, who you will see around the room throughout the night. Also, there will be a special performance from an internationally renowned recording artist later on in the night. Who is it? You’ll just have to attend Score’s 16th anniversary party to find out.
I had a chance recently to speak with Score co-owner Luis Morera about the party and the nightclub’s overall success. I thank him for talking to me and for giving Hotspots an exclusive scoop.
How does it feel to see Score reach its sixteenth anniversary in business?
It feels great on one hand, and on the other hand I’m surprised because it feels like time has gone by so quickly. My involvement with Score started ten years ago, but my partner, he opened Score in 1998 and even he says it feels like it was only yesterday.
What do you attribute Score’s success to?
I think it’s our willingness to apply new ideas and to reinvent ourselves. As owners we owe it to our customers to be hands-on with the business. We like change, so we make it a point to make adjustments sometimes and take note of what the current trends are. What may have worked ten years ago may not work now. We try to accommodate many types of customers: we have a hip-hop night, we have a Latin night, we have a house night. I think listening to our customers and giving to them what they want, that’s really what’s kept us in business for so long.
How are people liking the new location on Washington Avenue?
The feedback we’ve received about the new location has been amazing. What we noticed when we were still in the old building is that the tastes of club goers are changing; they don’t necessarily feel like they have to be in an all-gay environment all the time.
So we were looking for new spaces, and we were always in love in the space that we’ve moved into now, which was once the legendary Liquid. We drove by, saw a sign in the window, and everything happened within a matter of a month. And we’ve noticed that in this new location, we would have straight nights and we’d have gay nights, and slowly but surely those crowds have merged together and it’s all due to a love of music.
DJ Abel has been around the world but he calls Miami home and is a resident DJ at Score. What about him impresses you?
Abel has been in the business for over 35 years. He started out in the straight community and then moved into the gay community, so he has his finger on the pulse of what each crowd wants when he performs his sets. He’s booked all around the world so he always has fresh ideas, but I really like his Miami vibe…I say it’s the Miami “cha cha.”
Some people say “cha cha” and they mean it in a good way and other people say it in a sarcastic way. With him it’s a compliment because in his music there’s always drums in the background that make people want to get up and dance. It’s a happy sound.
He always says that the big picture isn’t about Abel the person, it’s about the music and the experience people have at the club.
Why did you pick a floral theme this year for the anniversary party?
We always pick themes that are true to Miami. Miami happens to be the largest importer of flowers into the United States from South America. It’s a theme that’s being seen right now in all the fashion houses. All the fashion designers are incorporating floral prints into their designs. And flowers are very Miami…you see them all over the place, and you see people selling flowers on street corners. They make people happy too; when I enter my apartment and I look at my kitchen tables and I see flowers in the middle of the table, it just puts a smile on my face. We thought it was the most appropriate theme for this year.
You mentioned earlier that gay crowds and straight crowds are partying together at this new location. How did that come about?
At our new location we’ve been using the name “Trade” for predominantly straight parties and “Score” for gay parties. But what we’ve found is that people just love a good party — the other weekend a lot of the people in the “straight” party were wearing “Score” wristbands.
In our old location on Lincoln Road, some of the straight community would pass by and say to each other in a hushed voice, “Oh, Score, we can’t go there, that’s a gay place.” But now straight people and gay people are partying together. I think it’s one step in our march toward equality, that gay people and straight people can have fun and be who they are and there is no issue.
Score’s 16th anniversary party will be held on Saturday, August 16 from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Score is located at 1437 Washington Avenue in Miami Beach. For more information, visit scorebar.net or dial (305) 535-1111. Be sure to “like” Score on facebook at facebook.com/scoreclub and on twitter @scoresobe.