Nikki Beach serves up food, drink, fun for visitors to South Beach area

Posted November 7, 2023


If you think about the reasons to open a beach club, what would it be?

A) partying

B) entrepreneurship

C) hustle

Nikki Beach was none of the above.

The entrance to Nikki Beach on South Beach (Photos courtesy of Nikki Beach Global).

It was born from a family tragedy and founded in1998 by owner Jack Penrod.

Nicole, his daughter, was killed by a drunk driver when she was 18 years old. Today we all get a glimpse of her thanks to Penrod.

He turned all his pain to ambition and created a concept which we now know as Nikki Beach. What started as a memorial is now a luxury beach club at 11 locations.

It’s soft, friendly, and beautiful.

Nikki Beach is all this in the name of Nicole. Her passions served as guidelines: art, fashion, food, and entertainment, and her character as the vibe: carefree.

The brand’s 25th year celebration is this year, and it is best celebrated on South Beach’s famed Ocean Drive in Miami Beach, the first location. And this year the company team is eager to announce new things coming.

“We’ve announced new properties opening around the world in Oman, and Antigua over the next few years. So, we have a lot going on and we’re excited about that,” said Nadine Gaynor, Global PR and communications director.

Not only is Nikki Beach itself expanding, but South Beach’s location will also be delivering new events and plans this season.

Food lovers, you’re going to love this.

Michael Sin, general manager at Nikki Beach, said that their chef is busy cooking up new recipes.

Sushi is one option for hungry guests at Nikki Beach.

“We’re looking at incorporating some new menu items. Every year we have other managers and other employees from Nikki Beach that come and work with us,” he stated.

“We’re happy to have a chef working with us this year, to go over the menus and we create new ones, new events, and new offerings for the guests.”

Nikki Beach takes pride in food and entertainment. Visiting a location does not necessarily have to mean having a burger at the beach. Their options are far wider.

Sin said that “while you go to many other places in Miami and you lay out by the beach seaside, the offerings are limited. Maybe you have a burger, maybe you have chips. But our offerings are very elevated. We offer sushi, and we offer full meals.”

A fundamental part of what Nikki Beach promotes is the events. The most popular ones being the seasonal ones. We all know, Halloween just ended. and if blacking out was not your thing, Nikki Beach hosted a spooky night at the beach. Big screen included. As well as food, and beautiful scenery.

Every event needs its planning and Nikki Beach focuses on creating the perfect atmosphere.

Sin said that their local marketing team works with their global team to decide on a theme for every specific event.

Once they decide on the theme, the local marketing team works with the operations team to create a mood board, meaning, the “look” and vibe that they want for that event.

Then it comes down to deciding on the performers and entertainers to execute a more appealing event.

A visitor relaxes with a book at Nikki Beach on South Beach.

Music is one of the key techniques to create the mood desired for every event. Nikki Beach is known globally for their music program. DJs and performers from all over the world perform at these clubs for the people to enjoy live music.

Steve Reason is a DJ and saxophone player who has performed at Nikki Beach in South Beach Miami.

“The Nikki Beach atmosphere is like no other place in the world,” Reason stated.

Reason said that the part life is special, and the reason is the music.

“The goal of the DJ is never to play what people are already hearing on the radio but to play things in different ways or things you have never heard before,” he explained.

Reason said that the selection process at Nikki Beach to become the Dj or performer is no joke. They must keep their standards, and the selection process is tough.

“There must be a special ear for music talent the DJ must possess to become a Nikki Beach DJ or Nikki Beach saxophonist. Two of the biggest DJs at Nikki Beach are DJ Felipe Kaval (Colombian) and DJ Berin (Russian). I am one of the most well-known sax players at Nikki Beach and I started to DJ last year,” Reason said.

In Miami, they do weekly events such as the Rosé Saturday event and their Amazing Sunday brunch. The clientele for those events goes from 400 to about 800 people, depending on if they’re in season or off season.

The Rosé Saturday event consists of sipping pink Rosé at the beach. Fuel for a tanning, reading, or gossiping session.

But as mentioned before, the most popular events come with the seasons.

“We just finished a Halloween movie on the beach event where we showed a movie on the beach and everyone would lay out on the daybeds and watch a movie on a big screen out on the beach,” said Sin.

Cocktails are popular with Nikki Beach guests.

And if this sounds like you missed a unique experience, both Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming up and with them new events and activities planned already. So, if you have no plans, they have you covered.

No matter which Nikki Beach location you are visiting, the concept stays the same. They center around being a joyful and peaceful experience.

“The wonderful thing about Nikki Beach is at its core, Nikki Beach is a celebration of life. That’s what we direct everything around, our food, our environment, and how we interact with the guests. But the other wonderful thing about Nikki Beach is we adapt to the area and the location where we’re at.”

Every Nikki Beach club has something unique to offer considering its location. Menus have exotic dishes which go according to where they are served. So, if you’re in Santa Fe, Thailand, or the Miami location there’s several staples you will see, like entertainment style, music, and food, which all share the same general guidelines. But you will also see that each distinct location has a few exclusive surprises.

Dionne Highly, marketing manager at Nikki Beach Miami said the Ocean Drive location is an important one.

“Our Miami Beach location is one of the brand’s bigger properties and we have various spaces that we get to use for private events including our newly redesigned upstairs lounge area that we use exclusively for private parties.,” she said.

“But the essence of it is always circled around a celebration of life. Food is number one, and then we always have the entertainment that goes with it,” explained Sin.

Community is a shared theme across all Nikki Beach locations. DJ Gabdez plays for Nikki Beach Costa Smeralda. He said there are three main reasons why he is honored to be a resident since 2019.

The first reason being, “The beach is unique, because the location is inside a natural reserve, we are surrounded by seaside, flowers and typical Mediterranean vegetation; furniture and sound system are perfectly integrated with the colors of the nature, buzz, hunts and lizards are part of our daily environment, so that’s make the perfect escape from your regular life.”

Gabdez said the second reason is the clients themselves.

The outdoor dining area at Nikki Beach.

“Our clients are really special and love the location, they come for a full life experience sunbathing, eating, music and party, that makes everything unique and special,” he said. “Our motto has always been quality more than quantity.”

And the last reason is simply because his team has become his family. And in the end, that is the dream.

“The team I work with is a family, after five years from the managers to the youngest colleague, we collaborate every day to reach the best result. there is no leader, there is a real group where we share all together the success of the season.”

When it comes to the community Nikki Beach in Florida works smarter keeping friendly relationships with surrounding neighborhoods and businesses. Sin said that they host parties exclusively for residents and people from their community where everyone attends and shares some time. People who are members also get to attend special events.

Nikki Beach has what they call a “Sunshine Community ” where exclusive members from the South of Fifth neighborhood join at the Nikki Beach Garden space to make pizza and enjoy wine. So, this does not just happen in movies; communities gather to enjoy quality time too.

Considering it is a global brand, a big portion of guests are international.

Highly said that “In Miami Beach we get many clients from the U.S., South America and Europe. Because the brand has beach clubs and resorts in varying properties around the world — from Dubai and Thailand to Saint Tropez and Saint Barth — we naturally get clients from different regions visiting each location. However, Nikki Beach has developed a very loyal clientele over the years, and we often see our guests traveling just to visit our different locations.”

Starting May 2026, Nikki beach will be owned by Boucher Brother and Major Food Group, but they are focused on making their last season busy and memorable.

As Sin said, the club is “still here for quite a bit of time longer and within that time we’re actually very excited about a lot of other projects that we have going on.”

There’s no assurance of what Nikki Beach will become, it is possible for the whole experience to take a shift in direction, so this would be a good last call for those who love everything “soft, friendly, and beautiful.”

If You Go

  • Address: 1 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach, FL 33139
  • Hours of Operation: 12:00 p.m. -6 p.m. Event times differ (Look at website)
  • Costs: Weekdays: Single chair/umbrella $10. Beds: $30/ person + $25-$100 rental fee. Weekends: Single chair/umbrella $20. Single Day Bed: $75 + $150-$300 rental fee
  • Dress Code: “Beach chic” shirts and cover-ups required for bar/restaurant. Hoodies and sweatpants/ athletic wear not allowed.
  • Daybeds and Cabanas are 21+.