DJ Joe Ross / Photo: Ulisses Garcia

South Beach in Houston Re-Opens With
New DJs and Posh Décor

by Jacquari Harris
| July 29, 2022 12:23 pm CDT

A world-class nightclub is a venue that can provide a multi-sensory experience with state-of-the-art lighting and sound, cutting-edge DJs, unique décor, and a raucous crowd that’s ready to party the night away. South Beach in Houston fits the criteria as a premier nightclub that locals and tourists alike have enjoyed for the last two decades.

South Beach opened its doors in 2001 as an LGBTQ+ dance club in Montrose and quickly cemented its legacy as not only the nightlife anchor on Pacific Street, but as a place where you can hear some of the best dance music. DJ Michael Tank was one of the pioneers of the “South Beach sound” by delivering progressive house music, tribal beats, and the latest remixes from Thunderpuss, Peter Rauhofer, and Tony Moran.

South Beach in Houston

South Beach 2022 | Photo: Ulisses Garcia

As the musical baton was handed off to new resident DJs in the years to come, the formula remained the same – to play the best dance music of the moment. This includes Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, and Rihanna, who all emerged on most DJ playlists from the late 2000s into the 2010s.

In 2018, South Beach closed for renovations. But on July 15, 2022, the club made a masterful re-entry into the Montrose nightlife scene with a hotly anticipated grand re-opening.

Part of the anticipation was to see the venue’s new look. The owner of South Beach, Charles Armstrong, enlisted Houston-based interior design firm Robinson & Associates to create South Beach’s 2022 glow-up.

Front Room Bar Area

Front Room Bar Area at South Beach | Photo: Ulisses Garcia

The dance music destination now has a new posh design and décor with mahogany wood panels along the walls, granite flooring, and a must-see eight-foot quartz crystal chandelier that rotates and hangs over the dance floor.

Upon entering the club is the front room, where you’ll find the first bar with enticing hues of blue and purple and a semi-secluded VIP area for special events or a getaway for a party of two. The main room is where you’ll find two more bars, a standalone VIP area, and the dance floor with new VIP seating for bottle service.

Front VIP Area

Front Room VIP Section | Photo: Ulisses Garcia

Now, the main attraction at South Beach is the dance floor. When the vibe is right, club-goers can immerse themselves in a melodic wave of high-energy dance beats and vocals. The experience at South Beach is like no other, with pillars of chilled air that consume the dance floor four to five times a night. It’s a welcomed breeze for those who refuse to leave the dance floor because the DJ’s mixes are so relentless. The club also has a new sound system and lighting with a multi-colored light show that thrusts at the whim of every beat.

Dance Floor at South Beach in Houston

Dance Floor | Photo: Ulisses Garcia

And with the re-opening of South Beach comes a new batch of bartenders. Legendary South Beach bartenders, including the late Shane Strahan, knew how to give you good conversation, a mean pour, and a little sass when needed. Andres Rodriguez and Julio Briceño are some of the club’s new bartenders. Rodriguez can concoct everything from classic cocktails to special libations, including the Sex and the City fave, the Cosmopolitan.

Bartender Andres Rodriguez at South Beach in Houston

Andres Rodriguez Making a Cosmopolitan
Photo: Ulisses Garcia

After grabbing a cocktail, you can either stay inside the venue to listen to music or head to the patio. South Beach’s patio is the best place for intimate conversations or a much-needed respite from the dance floor. In addition to enjoying the outdoor weather, the patio has a hint of nostalgia for Montrose regulars. The sign from the club’s now-defunct sister property, Meteor, is perched for prime viewing. It’s a nod to past good times and those yet to come in the newly revamped dance hub.

And, of course, you can’t talk about South Beach without mentioning the new conductors of the DJ booth. DJ Mel Frausto (Rosemont, ReBar) is spearheading the sound on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays, with DJ Joe Ross as the headliner on Saturdays.

Joe Ross in the DJ booth at South Beach in Houston

DJ Joe Ross in the DJ Booth | Photo: Ulisses Garcia

Ross has been a DJ and curator of dance music in the Houston area for over 20 years. From Rich’s to ReBar to your favorite circuit event, Ross knows how to fill a dance floor. Ross’ first set at South Beach was on July 16 for opening weekend. Ross spent weeks preparing for his first set, and even though he spun at South Beach years ago, something was different this time.

“It does feel different now,” said Ross. “There’s a company run by Tim Hannum, and he’s redone the lighting and upgraded the sound system. It’s next-level amazing. At my fingertips, I have state-of-the-art equipment to express myself.”

Back Bar Area

Back Bar Area | Photo: Ulisses Garcia

Ross is the type of DJ that likes to read the room. He doesn’t stick to one style and doesn’t mind switching up his playlist to appease the crowd.

“As far as my music style, I like to be versatile,” the DJ added. “I’ll go in with an idea of what I want to do, but I like to keep myself open and be able to switch it up. If I see some circuit queens, then I’ll play some circuit. I wanted to combine old South Beach with the new South Beach for opening night. I wanted to marry these two sounds together. I layered them with new music. So many people came that wanted to see that. I didn’t want anyone to feel left out.”

Middle Bar

Photo: Ulisses Garcia

South Beach’s return gives club-goers more options for an LGBTQ+ nightlife experience and a world-class venue where dance music enthusiasts can have a good time.

South Beach is open Wednesday through Sunday from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m.

For more photos of South Beach, click here.

810 Pacific Street, Houston, TX 77006

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