Inside Bath Club Miami Beach: The first private social club in the southeast

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Founded in 1926, The Bath Club Miami Beach was the first private social club in the southeastern United States. It counted William Vanderbilt II, Pierre Cartier, William Boeing and Herbert Hoover as some of its members. At that time, minorities – blacks, Jews, Asians – were not allowed to enter. But in 1999, African-American real estate developer Don Peebles only bought the club for members with the goal of making it “exclusively inclusive.”

Nearly 20 years later – after an extensive renovation – The Bath Club officially reopened in March. The club’s original romantic architecture was updated by Miami-based female designer Jamaican-born Allison Antrobus and Filipino-American Ruby Ramirez (formerly Antrobus + Ramirez). “The inspiration came from the building’s Mediterranean revival architecture,” Ramirez shares with Forbes. “The muted noble tones paired with the nostalgic look back to the 1920s reflect a building stopped in time, layered with the fresh feel of a modern beach club.”

A three-hectare private sandy beach offers a glorious view of the Atlantic Ocean. Members can enjoy the club’s food and beverage offerings from Apicii Hospitality, as well as on the bougainvillea-filled patio and veranda, by the resort-style pool, cigar and tasting room and the formal chophouse celebrating the golden era of drinking and eating in the 1950s . These include the popular sea scallops in brown butter, Maine lobster tagliatelle and truffle pizza, by head chef Jeff Masanz, who previously worked at Boca Raton Club and Resort. Beverage director Kyle Tran, formerly of The Aviary in Chicago and staff Only Los Angeles, also put together a cocktail list divided into signatures and new classics, including Miami Mule and Bathtub Negroni, produced by the club’s library of over 400 spirits. The wine list leans towards American and French, but also contains a selection of Italian, German, Spanish and Argentine bottles. It is slated to open its signature restaurant this fall


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The club is almost sold out by family plans, with individual and couple membership options launching next month. It is open to anyone who wants to apply. “The Bath Club offers a sense of place, heritage and authenticity to all,” said Mr. Peebles. “The overwhelming response from founding members has been a true testimony to the club’s great past and promising future. It is truly here that members can come together for enriching experiences surrounded by privacy and luxury. ”

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