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10 Questions To Ask About That VIP Hookup

June 17, 2008 By Matt Meltzer in Miami: Nightlife  | 33 Comments

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Having waded through years and years of pretentious South Beach bullshit, I have learned many lessons the hard way. Like never show up at midnight with five dudes and expect to get in. Or never buy a girl a drink who you have not been dancing with for at least an hour. Or never leave your credit card at the bar when you go home for the night. But perhaps the greatest lesson I have learned in my many years is that while a lot of people may tell you they have a “hookup,” the sad fact is that few, if any, actually do.

By “hookup,” I mean anyone that somebody claims to know who can get you past a line in a club, get you in free, get you free drinks or get you VIP access without paying for it. Or any combination of the above.

Typically the alleged “hookup” is some friend of a friend, friend’s cousin, guy you met once drunk at Ted’s or a legitimate “hookup” of someone else this guy knows. Unfortunately, however, many people who think they have “hookups” in South Beach have about as good a chance of getting past the line as that guy from St. Louis wearing khaki shorts in the back. But that does not dissuade anyone from bragging about his hookup to just about everyone he meets.

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You may also notice that I am referring to all the people who claim to have hookups as guys. And while women certainly claim to have hookups as well (typically a doorman or bartender they slept with once who, as a way out of giving her his phone number, said something to the effect of ‘”Yeah, if you’re ever at Prive ask for me and I’ll get you in”) they are not nearly so blatant about trying to convince others they are well-connected as men. Guys, not surprisingly, will do it to get girls to come out to clubs with them, because as we all know nothing gets you a date faster than saying “Free drinks and skip the line.” But, like so many things guys say to try and get laid, “the hookup” is typically about 10% truth, 90% bravado. So let’s take a little look today, shall we, at what constitutes actually having a “hookup” in South Beach, and what does not.

BUT I’M FROM THE CITY, YOU HAVE TO LET ME IN!

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For some reason, people from the northeast (ok, people from New York) seem to think that if they know one person in nightlife in New York City this immediately grants them VIP access to every club in South Beach. Yes, because apparently even a third-rate promoter in “the city” is a batter hookup than ANYTHING our little corner of the swamp has to offer, right? Yeah, not so much, Guido, not so much. If I had a nickel for every time I stood in line at Crobar and heard some douchebag with a Great Neck accent say something like “Yeah, but I know Mikey up in NYC,” well, I’d have funded a lot of nights at Crobar. So the first sign that someone who claims to have a “hookup” actually has “absolutely nothing” is if they are not even from Miami. Maybe during Winter Music Conference this might work once or twice, but the rest of the year, it’s absolute crap.

Ladies especially, if you run into some guy in your hotel lobby or just on the street who is trying to impress you by saying that he’s VIP at some club in New York you’ve never heard of and can hook you up anywhere on the beach, be a little skeptical.


MEET THE GUY WHO RUNS SOUTH BEACH: “MY BOY”

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Moron guys who claim to have “hookups” are by no means limited to out-of-towners. If that were the case a guide like this wouldn’t even be necessary. No, lucky for you Miami is chock full of people who like to make false impressions on naïve tourists, and many of them, as well, believe they have some sort of mythical “hookup,” when they get out to the beach. The most common I’ve seen is that legendary player in South Beach nightlife known simply as, “My Boy.”

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If you listen to your average guy from the mainland (see West of Biscayne Bay) “My Boy” runs the door at pretty much every club in the Beach. He is also a bartender who has no qualms about giving away free drinks to everyone in your party. “My Boy” is also a promoter who can get you to the front of the line, waive your cover, and get you free VIP access. “My Boy” even owns a club or 6 in South Beach, and it always happy to let in a third-degree acquaintance and his fifteen friends visiting from New Jersey.

“My Boy,” of course, never has a name. Nor does he have any specific relation to the person claiming to have “The Hookup.” And, in my experience, “My Boy,” despite holding such a multitude of jobs, never works. Because, inevitably, when you show up at the jam-packed door to whatever nightspot he’s allegedly at that night, your friend with “the hookup” will always trudge back to your group after a brief conversation with the doorman and say “Yeah, looks like My Boy’s not working tonight. Guess we gotta wait in line.” Either that, or call it a night and go to Ted’s.

A LIST IS RARELY WORTH THE PAPER IT’S WRITTEN ON

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Another popular way to have “the hookup” is to be on somebody’s “list.” For those unfamiliar, various promoters have guest lists at clubs that you can call, email or text message your way onto to supposedly skip the line and not pay a cover. Some promoters are able to facilitate this, but a good deal are not. So if someone says, “Yeah, let’s hit up Mynt tonight. I’m on Jose Perez’s list,” you may be faring no better than the people who didn’t bother to email Jose to make sure they could get in. Because while Jose (I have picked a generic name here, and if there actually is a promoter named Jose Perez, my apologies) may have handed in a piece of paper with some names on it to the folks working the door, if they don’t like the look of you (aka you have too many guys) they will simply ignore your cries of “I’m on Jose Perez’s list” and move on to let in the folks they like better.

As I said, some promoters have legit lists, but it is really hit or miss. Having an email address of a guy who can put your name on a piece of paper does not constitute a “hookup.” It constitutes an “address book entry.” Because even if the door does acknowledge you, and they do open the rope to let you in, you may still end up shelling out the $25 to get in. Again, this is not a hookup.

TEN DOLLAR SHOTS ARE NOT HOOKUPS

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Another of my favorites is the guy who thinks because he regularly tips a bartender at a club well, that somehow he is going to get free drinks all night. Listen, I’ve bartended in the beach for good amounts of time, and even my best friends had to pay for some drinks. Well-tipping regulars? They might get a free shot here and there, and maybe a free drink once in a while, but it was far from open bar for them. So when someone tells you “Yeah, once we get in I got a hookup at the bar. We’re drinking free all night!” that “hookup” will sound impressive until he comes back with the first round of shots and says “Hey, $40 for four lemon drops. Pretty good deal huh?” Unless that bartender is his roommate or something, expect a hefty bar tab when you walk out the door.

NOTHING IN THIS BEACH IS FREE

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My final, and probably most obvious non-“hookup” are the “passes” flyers and bracelets people on the street in South Beach love to walk up and give to people. So say you’re here on your first night in town from Kenosha, and for some reason some guy with a handful of bright pink bracelets has decided that, despite the sagging economy and transient nature of most nightspots in Miami, YOU deserved to bypass the line and get in free! All with this magical pink bracelet, similar to the one’s you’ve seen the celebrities wearing in clubs in those pictures in US Magazine. Yes, you! Despite the Bermuda shorts and souvenir “CSI: Miami” T shirts you have on, you are somehow cool enough to be exempted from all the bullshit everyone else looking to go out on a Monday is going to have to deal with.

Not so much, Bob.

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Sadly, most bracelets, and even the passes you get on the street, are little more than advertisements. Sometimes the passes will get your cover waived (although more often than not you’ll get $5 knocked off the inflated tourist rate) but you will still be waiting in line. And as far as VIP goes, well, that bracelet plus a minimum of two bottles at $300 each will whisk you right in.

SO WHO’S GOT IT?

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Ok, so I’ve sat here and spent a good deal of time telling you who DOESN’T have hookups in South Beach. “So, smart ass,” you say, “if so many people are so full of shit, who actually does have ‘the hookup’ in South Beach?” Well, sadly, that question is a lot harder to answer than the first. Because the mythical “hookup,” much like pornography, is hard to define. But I know it when I see it.

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If you are staying at one of the nicer hotels, your concierge definitely has some sort of “hookup.” After all, that’s basically his job. That being said he may be able to get you passes to a club, on a legitimate list, and maybe even a free drink or two, but past that he is fairly limited. He can probably get you table reservations at these clubs too, but you’re still going to have to pay. But rest assured, if you’re concierge tells you you’re on a list, chances are you’re on a list. The nice clubs like to keep good relationships with the nice hotels, and bullshitting a concierge about a guest list is a bad way of doing that.

LIKE MAYBERRY WITH BETTER LOOKING PEOPLE

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If you know anyone who has been in the Miami service industry, and more specifically the South Beach service industry, for a long time, chances are he or she actually does have a hookup. Because those who work in that sector are so used to people lying about having “the hookup,” they typically won’t do it themselves.

Also, South Beach is a pretty small town. Like if you live out there for a year you start to recognize a lot of people. Now imagine if you work and live in a small town (you may, where you’re coming from). You start to know everybody. Heck, eventually you’ve probably worked with everybody. And probably hooked them up on occasion as well. So, in the reciprocal world that is the service industry, typically the people you’ve hooked up will hook you up.

So say you have a friend who’s been a bartender in South Beach for five years, and he says “Yeah, I used to work with this guy James who’s now bartending over at Opium,’ well, you can rest assured he’s probably telling the truth. Same with knowing door guys. Same with getting VIP bracelets. If your friend says he or she knows or worked with someone, you’re good.

IF HE WAS THE BEST MAN AT YOUR WEDDING, HE MIGHT BE ABLE TO KNOCK TEN BUCKS OFF YOUR COVER

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As I said before, you can also find legitimate promoters who have legitimate lists and can legitimately get you in. If you know one of these people, they are probably legit. Similarly, if the person you know is a FRIEND or RELATIVE of said promoter, as in they have the person in their cell phone, you are probably ok as well. Note: Being a friend does not mean casual email contact or Facebook or MySpace friends. I mean like “Yeah, we had lunch last week then got some beers and he was at my birthday party,” friends. Because in South Beach, that term can be used VERY loosely.

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Along the same lines, if the person claiming to have “the hookup” is a legitimate friend of someone in a position of relative power (I say this because most doormen have power for about 10 hours a week) then that is probably also a legitimate hookup. But be careful: Sometimes someone may have a good friend who works at a club, but you get there only to find out he is the guy who goes around with a stand-up dustpan picking up broken Bud Light bottles. Typically that guy won’t come to the door and wave you past the line.

WHAT TO ASK YOURSELF

So, to summarize, if someone, especially a guy, tells you he has the hookup, chances are he is full of shit. Before you drop whatever plans you had and join this total stranger for a night of supposed VIP treatment, stop and ask yourself a few questions.

  1. Is this guy from Miami?
  2. Is the hookup someone not named “My Boy?”
  3. Does this “hookup” consist of more than “being on somebody’s list?”
  4. Does this person legitimately know their “hookup?”
  5. Do I have a pass or bracelet that specifically says “complimentary admission” on it? Is it for the day of the week I am trying to go out?
  6. Has this person worked in the South Beach service industry?
  7. Have I gone through my hotel concierge?
  8. Is the name of the “hookup” in this person’s cell phone?
  9. Have I been told that I may have to pay for some drinks?
  10. Does this guy not look like a total, full-of-shit douchebag?
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If you can answer “yes” to all of the applicable questions to your night out, you may, in fact, have a legitimate “hookup.” But still be wary. Never assume anything is going to be any easier than it otherwise would be unless you know all of the parties involved. Otherwise you may end up like so many ignorant-looking tourists, standing outside a club yelling, “Yeah, but I know Ricky. Really, I know him! I’m on his list! Wait, wait, waaaaaaaaaiiiiit.”

And that, friends, is just a sad place to be.

Related Categories: Nightlife Miami: Nightlife,

About the Author: Matt Meltzer is a featured columnist at Miami Beach 411.

See more articles by Matt Meltzer.

See more articles by Matt Meltzer

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33 Comments on

"10 Questions To Ask About That VIP Hookup"

flgirl says:

Too funny and so true. I have only lived in Boca for a year and I visit Miami often but I have learned some of the same lessons along the way. Matt the question is, do you have any hookups?

Posted on 06/27/2008 at 2:36 PM

Matt Meltzer says:

Hahaha. Of course I do. But I don’t advertise it, lest I get anyone’s hopes up. That being said, my South Beach nights are more or less relegated to Teds Hideaway and the Playwright these days.

Posted on 06/27/2008 at 8:53 PM

Kael says:

LOL Matt, I have been on the beach for almost two years now, and have experienced the guy/girl ratio refusal (even though a Crobar event promoter was putting on the birthday party), and the wristbands, etc.  This is some good basic info. people need to know…good job!

Posted on 08/19/2008 at 2:28 PM

NewChic says:

Wow! You sure did sum this up. I frequent Miami often and you hit it on the nose. I don’t bother with the promotions and hook ups. Luckily while standing in line the past few times some random guys says oh they are with us and lead us in and we go our seperate ways. Now that is hookup with no strings attached!
Hopefully we get this again next month wink

Posted on 09/29/2008 at 7:32 PM

John says:

This article definitely tells the truth. I live in Fort Lauderdale and was the best man who had to plan the bach party in South Beach. I have friends who lived in Miami who always claimed to have a hook-up at the clubs, but I knew for a fact that there was no way they could get a huge group of guys in anywhere. I did some online research and came across some VIP companies who get you in these clubs no problem. One company that stood out was SoBeVIPs. Their website, http://www.sobevips.com, looked the most professional so we went with them and they definitely had the hook-up. So I just wanted to throw out another option for “hook-ups” if you are willing to pay for it.

Posted on 12/03/2008 at 3:33 PM

Rhonda says:

I used a great VIP service called http://www.vipsouthbeach.com while I was in South Beach. They set up everything from restaurant reservations to VIP nightclub entrance to all the hottest clubs. I would really recomend them. It was great not to have to worry about getting in to the right club on the best nights!

Posted on 12/28/2008 at 11:47 AM

steve says:

HAHA!!!! The boy Melzter!! What up homie its Scuba…..u gonna hook me up or what?

Posted on 04/17/2009 at 7:49 PM

Matt Meltzer says:

SCUBA…what up POOSIE?! Hell yeah I got the hookup. My boy runs the door and I know all the bartenders. No Line, no cover, and we drink free all night. Hit me up. Bring Lisa if you can.

Posted on 04/19/2009 at 10:13 PM

Chris says:

I am coming to Miami this weekend, and found your articles through a Google search, trying to get the 411. (that’s how we talk in the ATL). I have read 5 of your articles tonight. I gotta say…brilliant and hilarious! I feel much better prepared. I just wish I had read your article about getting laid on spring break 15 years ago.

Posted on 07/01/2009 at 12:47 AM

Cat says:

very funny and very true. I grew up in south beach my friend sent me the link to this article and said i had to read it. Growing up in south beach i laugh when people brag about hookups and say they are the king/queen of south beach. In my case i went to high school, college, or worked with alot of people in south beach… Call it a “hook up” if u. like to me they r friends.

Posted on 08/19/2009 at 7:37 PM

Matt Meltzer says:

Nah, Cat. See, you are a LOCAL, meaning if you say you have a hookup, chances are you do. Locals who grew up here actually do know other locals working in a lot of places. But for every legit local who claims to have a “hookup,’ there’s 8 guys from Long Island who’ve lived here since March and claim to be local who claim the same thing.

Posted on 08/21/2009 at 11:38 PM

miadoesabodygood says:

HI! IM COMING DOWN FOR MY B-DAY SEPT 5TH - 8TH. WHAT ARE SOME HOT CLUBS TO CHECK OUT?

Posted on 08/31/2009 at 3:20 PM

Row says:

Hi Matt,

Very interesting article. Follow up question: If you are interesting in going to a club (Liv) and cannot spring for bottle service, what is your better approach, show up and join the probably lengthy line or walk right up to doorman obviously bypassing line…or something else?

Posted on 09/16/2009 at 6:34 PM

Row says:

Oh, I meant interested smile

Posted on 09/16/2009 at 6:36 PM

Matt Meltzer says:

The answer to this question depends on whether you are male of female (and hot). If you are a male or a 5 or below female, ariving very early and waiting in the regular line is the way to go. I mean, show up at like 10. Nobody else will be there for a couple of hours, but I’d rather spend 2 hours inside the club than two hours outside in line.

If you are an attractive female, just go up to the doorman, bypassing the line. If he ignores you, apparently you are going to have to wait in line like everyone else. But be hot enough and it’s not much of an issue.

Posted on 09/16/2009 at 10:06 PM

Row says:

Thank you for the 411. I will be with a party of one male and at least 5 females who I think are over a 5. I guess we will try our luck with the doorman and if he ignores us, I will mention that I am from NY and My Boy put us on the list….JUST KIDDING smile

Thanks again.

Posted on 09/17/2009 at 12:09 AM

MariaSanta says:

Hi Matt,
all i have to say is PRICELESS.. your article was hysterical.. being from LI and heading down next weekend with the girls.. ill keep ur tips mind when waiting on line…

Posted on 10/10/2009 at 9:13 AM

RAY GUNN says:

I LIVE ON SOUTH BEACH AND THIS IS SO TRUE. I DO HAVE SOME REAL HOOK UPS. BUT THATS DUE TO BEING IN THIS TOWN FOR 25 YEARS AND I PLAY GUITAR IN A WELL KNOWN LOCAL BAND. BUT 99.9% OF PEOPLE THAT HAVE THE SO CALLED “HOOK UP” NEVER EVEN GET INTO THE CLUB AND WHEN THEY DO THEIR BAR TAB AT THE END OF THE NIGHT IS THE SAME AS THE SMUCK FROM OHIO THATS IN TOWN FOR 3 DAYS.  AND BY ALL MEANS BUY THE HOTTIES AT THE BAR DRINKS CAUSE THEY ALREADY KNOW WHO THEIR GOING HOME WITH. LMAO   ME.. LOL ALL THE INFO ON THIS PAGE IS SAD BUT TRUE.  WELCOME TO MAIMI

Posted on 11/21/2009 at 8:54 AM

Rich says:

Hi, went to LUX thiis Saturday and got a table in the VIP and what a joke!! The table’s next to us had 12-13 people for two bottles and if you like dancing and just want a little personal space LUX is not the place to go. It’s as if the promotors gave anyone who can’t afford to buy a drink or water for that matter get in the VIP. Do not recommend not even for free!!!

Posted on 09/20/2010 at 5:25 PM

Cheryl Sigl says:

Ok I have read everyone’s comments here and the most intriguing was the one from Rhonda regarding the service ‘VIP South Beach’.  For a 1 week vacation I am willing to pay to get into a cool club.  Has anyone else had success with this service? I just don’t want to get scammed or lose my credit card to a disreputable company.  Any feedback for me?

Posted on 02/11/2011 at 11:16 PM

D-Sho says:

Loved the article!
I am headed to South Beach for a weekend in March.  I have never been there and definitely have no hook-ups!  Just my friend and I (two dudes) are going.  We are willing to pay for bottles.  I understand that two dudes would probably be given a two-bottle minimum when approaching the doorman cold.  But as long as we are willing to buy two, should we have any problems getting in?  Everywhere else I have ever bought bottles, I have never had issues with getting in…. yet these VIP type websites for SB offer the service of buying bottles through them.  Is this necessary?  Can’t I just buy them myself when I get there?  Do these VIP services offer anything?

Thanks!

Posted on 02/22/2011 at 6:24 PM

Matt Meltzer says:

D-Sho, no, if you are willing to shell out for 2 bottles you shouldn’t have much of a problem. But be sure to try and call the club ahead of time to try and set it up. Similarly, you can go through a promoter and do the same thing, but it’s not necessary if you’re willing to pay that much.

But Good God, WHY?

Posted on 02/23/2011 at 3:32 PM

jegordon says:

will you be watching the heat-lakers game at playwright?

Posted on 01/18/2012 at 8:07 PM

Frank says:

Just to ask do you have any connects to Story or LIV ? Thanks Frank !

Posted on 10/07/2013 at 8:29 PM

Matt Meltzer says:

“Connects,’ not specifically. But we do work with some promoters at these clubs like Miss Dee and Fabian. You can PM Fabian via the forums and I believe Gus knows Dee.

Posted on 10/09/2013 at 7:18 PM

Janz says:

hahahaha I am reading this article in Dec, 2013 and I can’t stop laughing, I’m actually going to Miami in Jan 2014 and I am so used to getting all kinds of hook ups in Vegas I mean no hustle and free shit all night (despite not knowing anyone there), in the most happening clubs that I’m kinda chickening out of trying in Miami major clubs.
The best things in life are free but I guess I will have to break the bank this time, since “My boy” wont “hook me up” with the “VIP Treatment” and “Nothing is free in SoBE” Lmao. all I want is free cover though, I will pay for the rest gladly. “Terms and Conditions apply”
Anyone wanna hook me up with free cover for my friend and I? promise we aint ugly lol

Posted on 12/13/2013 at 5:10 PM

Matt Meltzer says:

Janz are you male or female?

Posted on 12/15/2013 at 11:41 PM

Janz says:

Matt I am female, coming with my female friend January hope to have a fun time.

Posted on 12/15/2013 at 11:49 PM

Matt Meltzer says:

For girls it’s a little easier. Like you can get free cover if you look the part fairly easily. As for drinks, well, I guess that depends who’s there that night.

Posted on 12/16/2013 at 12:01 AM

Janz says:

Matt,  awesome I always look the part (without sounding conceited) lol.  I just wanted free cover for just in case the place is disappointing. But this is Miami, I’m sure it will be worth it, and it will be my b day.  Thanks for this blog, very informative.  LIV, mansion, Set and Nikki beach here I come. *crossing fingers *

Posted on 12/16/2013 at 12:13 AM

Kay says:

Hi Matt,
Thanks a lot for the info. My friends and I are staying at Fontainebleau hotel so I’m I right in assuming we’ll be able to get into the clubs in that hotel without being on a list or having to queue?

Posted on 12/27/2013 at 11:26 AM

Matt Meltzer says:

Oh no, Kay. Quite the contrary. It doesn’t help you to get in at all really, especially if it’s a big night. Now if you have a group of girls and you’re fairly attractive, it won’t be a problem for you to get in. BUT that’s not guaranteed and being a hotel guest doesn’t really make a difference.

Posted on 12/28/2013 at 6:15 PM

Kay says:

Wow! Thanks for the update. We are a group of girls so fingers-crossed 😊
Thanks again.

Posted on 12/29/2013 at 8:57 AM

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