The Night Kings: The Men Behind South Beach’s Hottest Nightclubs

Nightclubs may come and go, but not at the hands of these five visionaries. The men behind some of South Beach’s hottest and most enduring attractions open up about why they laid down roots here – and why so many buyers in today’s real estate market are desperate to do the same

By Seth Semilof and Kamal Hotchandani
Photography By Reynaldo Ales


As developers continue to build luxury high-rise condominiums on South Beach, we decided it was time to talk to five pioneers who played an integral role in transforming the town into one of the hippest destinations in the world. Innovative and strategic thinkers, all of these players are respected for their creativity, smarts, and helping shape South Beach into the nightlife capital of the world.

And it was their vision and determination that has indirectly impacted the luxury real estate market here. Five years ago, everyone wanted to visit South Beach for its hot beaches, beautiful people, and incomparable nightlife. Now the world wants to own a piece of South Beach; in fact, more than 10 luxury buildings have been built in only the past five years – all within 20 blocks on the ocean.

Who better than these five – Shareef Malnik of The Forge, Roberto Caan of Mynt nightclub, Rok Bar and Vita, The Opium Group’s Roman Jones, Michael Capponi of Capponi Group Luxury Properties (along with Glass, The Victor Hotel and Mansion), and Mark Lehmkul of Snatch and Suite – to let us in on how it all began, evolved throughout the past 15 years, and how it all is most likely to play out?