So, About that E11even Club…

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So, About that E11even Club…
    First and foremost, a disclaimer: I did not walk into the club as a regular critic might. I was not the typical “off the street” customer, either.  As such, I feel I should make it known that a regular review of the club may come off differently from mine as I got a bit of “special treatment” being friends with the D.J. staff. With that out of the way…
    Holy.
    F***in.
    Shit.
    I walked into the club late Easter Sunday on the great Sam Dees shift. Sam, looking tired but happy, was wrapping up his post Heat game festivities and was ready to go enjoy the rest of his 4/20. Sam’s shift is very different from most working gentleman’s club D.J.s, because he doesn’t work at a typical club. He goes on at nine in the morning and goes right into the most high energy part of his day and then slowly works into a more relaxed afternoon vibe, all before revving it back up for the night time party. On our way to say hi to Sam, Mike and I were greeted with a smile by every single employee. Everyone, from the barback on up, we’re well dressed, attractive, SMILING, and approachable. As every successive person came in to start their shift, all had the same presence the entire evening. Mike saw a couple of familiar faces; some from all the way across the country. To say the E11even team scoured the nation for the best in the business is putting it lightly. Mike knew the barback from his days in San Fransisco! The drinks are almost as expensive as any high profile place in Las Vegas, but what would one expect in downtown Miami in a high profile 44 million dollar nightclub/cabaret complex?! Sam was a great host when he wasn’t calling girls on stage. As Mike and I sat at the bar consuming our tasty beverages, we heard a familiar voice calling us out. It was a healthier and thinner looking Jon Harmon coming in for his shift. While Sam finished up his shift, Jon gave us a full tour. I’d seen the club mostly finished during my audition in January, so I was excited to see the completed project now. We started with the now working elevator to the rooftop Touche’ lounge. With an epic view and unmatched atmosphere, I was beyond impressed. Until I realized this was only the lounge, which is completely separate from the ACTUAL Touche’ restaurant. Both have completely different menus, which in turn are completely different from the menu available in the main room. The view was striking, but not complete. Dennis Degori, owner and operator, has more plans for the future and Miami will certainly be ready to see what more he has to offer. From there, we went to the 2nd floor and were introduced to the much ballyhooed conversation rooms. Elegant and private, they are the most well designed I’ve seen. We saw the “whale” rooms, with a side door that can allow high profile guests to go completely unannounced if they so choose. Everything is top of the line. There’s not a champagne or liquor that I didn’t see available at the numerous bars. We finished up in the main room with a quick run of the couch rooms, the stages, the main pit, the bar behind the D.J. booth and, finally, one of the most outrageous cockpit D.J. booths I’ve ever seen. Seriously, there’s a completely different section for the D.J. and the light and sound guy in this, the most envious of D.J. booths. Some of the most high-tech stuff I’ve ever seen.  Have you seen the meme that talks about strip club D.J.s and one of the panels says “This is what I think I do” and it shows the picture of a major D.J., say David Guetta, in front of a crowd of people with an insane light show and sound system surrounding him?  If you saw that and said “I wish!”,  prepare to be jealous of the boys here since that’s EXACTLY what they do during prime time. I’ll add to that jealousy and mention that Guetta was there about 12 hours before I was. That’s the sort of clientele they draw.
    Shortly after this, Mike left to head home to his wife who was nice enough to let him go galavanting around town with me all day on Easter Sunday, no less. This was the true test. The staff was now changing out, and no one had any idea who I was. And I was without a “wingman” that gives the ability to brush off overly aggressive girls. Jon was now in full work mode and allowed me to sit with him for a bit. I asked him a million questions, and he kindly gave me a million answers. As well as more than a few drink tickets, because hey, Jon likes to drink like I do and he’s a good friend! The D.J. booth alone has a 40,000 dollar (!!!) set up JUST FOR THE MONITOR SYSTEM! It has some of the top of line D.J. equipment for the D.J.s that come in to spin. There’s as many as three or four different South Florida style D.J.s that come in nightly to take over the D.J.ing responsibilities.  The staff keeps the girls running, and Jon comes in to help with the choreographed shows that go on throughout the night. Contortionists, high flying acrobatics, and all the side stages and podiums are taken over by professional dancers dressed to the nines. Now, this is where the insanely high-tech equipment with the high price tag comes into play. The only places I’ve ever seen this production value at is in Las Vegas nightclubs such as Hakkasan or the legendary Scarlett’s in Hallandale….Pure spectacle. At one point I was at the bar, and the sound system was so crazy that it was shaking the clothes on my body. I went to tell Jon, who then pulled out an iPad that allowed him to control any section of the sound system in the room and with the touch of a finger, adjusted it to be more comfortable by the bar. I went back to the bar and was once again greeted to smiles and bubbly personalities. A BIG plus to me in South Florida, was the entertainers. One, the majority of the girls I saw were beautiful. Some just weren’t my type and being part of this business so long, I’m jaded. But all were top notch and dressed well. Two, they weren’t pushy. I was never approached in an aggressive way or hit with a “do you want a dance” and then, before I could finish the word no, saw the ass end of the same girl already on to the next guy. I got dances from an Asian so hot; I almost texted Joe Knowbody to be on the next plane out to Miami. Seriously…wow.
    So you might be asking, why the radio silence from everybody? Well, they are extremely f’n busy. The D.J.s typically work 12 hour days right now and don’t have much free time. But I can tell you right now, I’d be hard pressed to find anybody that wouldn’t want to work at that club. The tag line is “it’s exactly what you think it is.” And I think that means that it’s just a bit of everything. The back part of the room is the couch rooms and the first stage. The room then leads you into the bar where most people end up. After that, it continues into the pit where the bottle service and theatrics are centrally focused. No, it’s not cheap. Not by any means. But what surrounds you is not cheap, either. Everyone, even the guests, are dressed well. I hardly saw anyone drinking beer. You’re paying for a higher level of entertainment, and you’re 100% getting it. The hospitality is unbeatable. The whole E11even crew, guided by Dennis Degori’s vision, are unequivocally bringing something new and exciting to the business. I went on a holiday that’s so dead, even my club closed during the busiest part of our year. But not E11even. They were running full speed ahead. I look forward to my next trip back, because I only scratched the surface. There’s so much more to say, almost all of it good, but I don’t want this to drag on too long. So…just go. I’m sure you’ll be impressed. Thanks for reading.
    Cheers,
    Ron “D.J. Ron James” Sparkman
    Thee Dollhouse, North Myrtle Beach, SC

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Dane Hansen is the current president of PANDA. He’s been nominated multiple times by Exotic Dancer for some of their most prestigious awards, Employee of the Year and DJ of the Year. Dane puts in exhaustive work to bring the dj community to a higher level year after year.