You don’t have to go to Miami to get a little taste of South Beach’s tranquil vibe and tropical flair. Barely two months old, South Beach Pizza Bar and Ultra Lounge in the New Center Area brings a steamy style to the exquisite architectural structure of the Fisher Building.
“I wanted to come up with something that was fun and everyone could identify with,” says Managing Partner Omar Mitchell. “I came up with the concept of South Beach because South Beach is my favorite place to visit in the states.”
There’s no confusing this former bank with your everyday pizza joint. “We’re a pizza bar by day and an ultra lounge by night,” Mitchell says.
Tropical foliage, soft blue, red and purple lights and modern furniture separate South Beach from other pie palaces, and wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling windows allow you to overlook West Grand Boulevard and Second Avenue.
In the midst of the bustling New Center Area, it’s common to see men and women working business causal looks mixed in with the typical jeans and t-shirt crowd. Once the sun sets and music starts jamming – the game changes. No sports gear, gym shoes, jerseys or hats, Mitchell says.
“I like the set up and the decorations,” says 21-year-old Sara Walby who dropped by South Beach for the first time Saturday.
The 8,000 square-foot venue features a cognac and cigar room in what used to be the bank’s vault. One half of the vault, housed below street level, is a lounge area with five or six white beds, paper lanterns and its own bar. The second half features contemporary brown and orange plaid arm chairs surrounded by the dozens of bronze-colored lock boxes. The lower level of South Beach, which also houses the bathrooms, is about 3,000 square feet.
“There are a lot of different bars and areas,” says 22-year-old Jessica Lienard of Macomb Twp. “It’s classy and contemporary. I like it.”
Slate tile and hardwood floors mix with carpet on the main floor where dozens of couches and chairs allow people a break from shakin’ it on the dance floor. Modern silver beads hang from the ceiling to create separate spaces for the bar and VIP areas.
Pick me up
“Our number one seller is the chicken BBQ pizza and seafood pizza,” Mitchell says.
You can also choose from other favorites like margarita ($9.99), Jamaican Jerk ($10.99) and Mama Mia Meats with Italian sausage, pepperoni, ham, green peppers, Greek olives, mushrooms and robust tomato sauce ($10.99). Crusts come in thin, regular or deep dish ($2 more). Other options include appetizers like chicken wings, calzones, burgers, salads and desserts.
South Beach is open for lunch Monday through Friday.
Bottle service includes vodkas ranging from $200-$250, cognacs ranging from $250-$3,500 (Remy Martin “Louis XIII”) and champagne ranging from $100-$550.
If your first visit to South Beach wasn’t what you were expecting, just try a different night. Thursdays features a mostly Latino crowd with sounds by DJ George Guzman X/S, DJ Carlos Reyes and DJ Eric G at Havana Nights. The Grupo Escobar Band performs live with salsa meringue, Bachata, Reggaeton top 40 and Latin house.
Fridays features a little more spin urban during Karma Sutra Fridays hosted by Sunshyne of WJLB.
South Beach Saturday, brought to you by Vital Productions, is more for the suburban crowd.
Sundays cater to the gay and lesbian community.
Cover ranges from $5 to $20 and varies depending on the night and event.