They are dancing everywhere, in the hotel lobby, in the courtyard, in the restaurant bar, in the halls and of course on the dance floor which is “cheek to cheek” room only. The party, which is known as “The Alcazaba Pre-Thanksgiving Reunion” packs about two thousand people in the Hyatt Regency Coral Gables Hotel on the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving.
The crowd is enjoying disco, freestyle and latin music, DJ Alex Gutierrez is in control, every flawlessly matched mix brings a roar of approval from the forty to fifty something crowd which has waited a whole year for this. With the number of year round clubs that litter the landscape, one wonders: Why wait? Why this place?. As Gutierrez puts it: “…they get the sound of Miami here…Alcazaba has never changed…these people met the people they married here…they divorced because they would escape here on happy hour…this is built into the fabric of their life…”
Alcazaba opened in 1988 it stayed open for twenty one years. That longevity is almost unheard of for a club. The biggest night of the year for the club was always the night before Thanksgiving.
After closing in 2009 a funny thing happened… the patrons refused to let go. Slowly… via word of mouth and of course… social media, they demanded to have a party just like they had had every year for the past twenty one years, on the Wednesday night… before Thanksgiving. Hotel management complied and the rest, as they say, is history.
The party has now become a tradition, “This is the Cuban St. Patrick’s” says Gutierrez laughing, and to judge by the heavy hitters he’s got on the dj roster: Frank Banderas, Kiwi Mario and Mike in the Night, he is determined to make this the hottest spot south of Dublin. Even Billboard songwriter of the year Lewis Martinee drops by and mixes a couple of tunes to the crowd’s delight.
As the night progresses, Mike in the Night’s unique voice announces: “Ladies and gentlemen…we are going to be doing this once a month”…the crowd goes wild…the wait’s been reduced…from 364 to 29 days…
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