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Bella Rose grabs two more New Times Best of Miami wins


We cleaned up in the New Times Best of Miami this year.  

After the win for Best Twitter Feed, Bella Rose took home two posthumous awards:

Best Nightclub to Die in the Past Year: Bella Rose

The demise of Bella Rose is still lamented by South Beach locals who patronized the glam hole-in-the-Beach for the 16 months it was open. Not only was the scene fresh and unpretentious, but also the drinks were reasonable and there was no VIP crapola. While co-owner Keith Paciello has been in nightlife seemingly forever (yes, his brother is notorious club king Chris Paciello), business partner Alfred Spellman has an interesting pedigree as a producer of films such as Cocaine Cowboys and The U. Together, the handsome duo reinvigorated nightlife on the Beach with Bella Rose’s anything-goes atmosphere. Celebrities such as Jared Leto, Josh Hartnett, Kirsten Dunst, Calvin Klein, and Mary-Kate Olsen made low-key, late-night appearances at the 1,500-square-foot space on 16th Street. And the weekly Black Sunday parties, featuring Alexis Mincolla and crew staging fake crimes, garnered a rabid following. (Admit it: You gleefully watched the jittery postmortem video every Monday morning.) Unfortunately, the economic downturn done in this after-hours joint. It’s hard to make the rent when hipster patrons are drinking beer only between 2 and 5 a.m. Since Bella Rose closed last August, Spellman has returned to filmmaking (he’s working on a TV version of Cocaine Cowboys with Michael Bay and Jerry Bruckheimer), while Paciello can be found smiling sardonically as he mans the door at RokBar. It’s not all bad news, though: The best friends are looking for another space to resurrect the funky times.

Best Party to Disappear in the Past Year: Black Sunday at Bella Rose

Sundays might be a day of rest and reflection for the general population, but promoter Alexis Mincolla and friends aren’t exactly holy rollers. His devotees are among the most dedicated night crawlers. So in early 2009, Mincolla begat Black Sunday at Bella Rose, a weekly party that seemed to start as more-or-less standard electro-hipster fare and morphed into something much more darkly decadent. As time went on, each happening took on performance-art proportions, with Mincolla and company staging elaborate fake murders of various scene personalities, and documenting the schadenfreude and bloody chaos in copious photos. The faux-crime-scene documentation would then be displayed in little flipbook-style videos that were so realistic and provocative they were temporarily banned from Facebook. Well, who said nightlife was supposed to be conservative? Still, something so in-your-face is unlikely to last long, and although there was no big implosion for Black Sunday, it disappeared. Several key figures left Miami, with Mincolla heading to the Big Apple to helm a new health-drink project, Prometheus Springs. There has been a happy reincarnation, though. Mincolla’s minions have organized into a collective now known as the Overthrow, whose creative chaos can’t be contained by one lousy little school night.

Best of Miami 2010: Best Twitter Feed

Many people familiar with 31-year-old Alfred Spellman probably don’t realize the wealth of knowledge and topics that the Rakontur producer (Cocaine CowboysThe U) frequently tweets. While most Twitter users babble about nonsense on the social networking tool, in 140 characters or fewer, Spellman lets us know about inner happenings at Rakontur (FYI, Dawg Fight, the back-yard fighter documentary based on a 2008 New Times story, comes out this fall) and comments on drug-related news and general Miami fucked-up-ness.

Miami New Times: Bella Rose is Miami’s Best New Bar

The Miami New Times has declared our very own Bella Rose Miami’s Best New Bar of 2009:

In the Boom Boom Room’s former digs, with the help of Cocaine Cowboys producer Alfred Spellman and tastemaker Keith Paciello, a unique lounge has blossomed. What keeps this Rose from wilting are reasonable drink prices and no shortage of debauchery. Bella Rose welcomes everyone. There’s no door drama. Yet it has attracted the likes of Calvin Klein, Josh Hartnett, Kirsten Dunst, and Mary-Kate Olsen. And to top it off, local scenesters Alexis Mincolla, Nick D’Annunzio, and Jochy Ortiz have given the bar’s patrons further reason to visit with the Saturday party Bella Donna and the end-of-the-weekend massacre, Black Sunday.

Take a Hit of the Bella Donna

A packed house could have told the story as well, but a recent New York Times’ nod gave Bella Rose another boost on the cool meter for its weekly murder-mystery hipster party Black Sunday. And now, the club is home to the perfect Saturday sister party: Bella Donna. Billed as the ideal bash for those looking to flirt with a little corruption, the joint is typically packed with tipsy model hosts, posh socialites, and degenerate hipsters looking for one unforgettable night of mayhem. In keeping with the lounge’s come-one-come-all aesthetic, the party is still hip enough for South Beach purveyors of cool without turning off those trying to avoid a fuss at the door — just ask iconic fashion designer Calvin Klein, who recently made a cameo at the fete. 

Cocaine Cowboys producer Alfred Spellman and SoBe scenester Keith Paciello brought the lounge notoriety, but Bella Donna’s instant credibility is due to this Saturday night’s host — Nick D’Annunzio — one of the Beach’s most influential tastemakers. Up-and-coming spinner DJ Troy Kurtz is the night’s resident sound selector, and Black Sunday mastermind Alexis Mincolla will be on hand to add to the debauchery. Do your part by showing up until the beat stops. 

Calvin Klein dropped by Bella Rose on Saturday Night

via Miami Metromix:

Designer Calvin Klein was spotted at Bella Rose’s newest weekly party, Bella Donna, this past Saturday night in South Beach.

The nightclub also happens to be owned by Cocaine Cowboys producers Alfred Spellman and Billy Corben, along with partner Keith Paciello (brother of South Beach’s original badboy and Liquid owner, Chris Paciello).

The fashion designer arrived at the club just past midnight, looking very casual sporting a simple short sleeved white t-shirt, dark jeans, eyeglasses and a touseled ‘do. Klein was accompanied by a male friend and chilled with Bella Donna host, Jose “Jochy” Ortiz. Klein managed to dodge paparazzi lenses but he was caught busting a move to the sounds of DJ Troy Kurtz.

Forbes: Bella Rose among Miami’s most exclusive clubs

via Forbes:

Bella Rose sprung up as an antidote to the velvet rope and bottle service scene. Co-owner Alfred Spellman says that when the beach became dominated by high rollers and celebrities, “I got sick of going out. And I’m only 29!” So he opened his own hangout—dark, creative and edgy, with “no bottle service pressure.” The crowd it draws is only for those hip enough to know about it. That includes Dennis Rodman, DJ and Lindsay Lohan gal pal Samantha Ronson and Danger Mouse (from musical duo Gnarls Barkley).

Forbes slideshow:

Dark and loungy Bella Rose is popular among anyone cool enough to know it exists—like artists, musicians, hipsters, and Dennis Rodman. It’s busiest on “Black Sundays,” when the owners put on a “pop-art murder night” and faux-kill a different South Beach local each week. It plays out like a real life game of Clue.

Bella Rose and the Poetry of Nightlife

John Hood pens a love letter to our Bella Rose:

It’s not every night that I’d dare compare a club to a poem, let alone call it poetic. Hell, I don’t even like poetry, not since T.S. Eliot wiled in his Waste Land anyway. But in this case, that line of Gertrude Stein’s about a rose being a rose is just too apropos to pass up. When you get to the gist of ol’ Gertie’s refrain — that a thing is what it is, no matter what you call it — there might be no better way to sum up the whole of a hotspot known as Bella Rose.

I’m talkin’ about a bar, whiskey pure and Zen simple, conceived in the heat of a moment by two men burned out by too many tepid nights on a lukewarm town. The men — Brooklyn-born Keith Paciello and Miami’s own Alfred Spellman — believed there had to be more than what the strip had been offering, so they decided to build something themselves. And build they did, in a two-month flash of blood, sweat and moxie. Walls were wiped clean and blackwashed, a DJ booth came outta the woodwork, and a bar curved up from the depths of a past that recognized elbows and angles rather than models and bottles. In other words, a place where good folk could come to kick back a few and not get fleeced by the illusion of celebrity.

Think Lua or The Spot, two heyday hangouts that were at once world-class and for the neighborhood, or Tony’s Place in Mean Streets, tricked to fit a whole new history. Mostly though, Paciello and Spellman (and bright-eyed designer Marcus Suarez) made a place of their own — by them, for them and for their friends.

So while the latest crop of so-called club kingpins went in search of the next last reality show contestant, the people got it. See, what the come-latelies failed to realize is that real folk don’t play at reality, they live it. And if you want a joint where real folk congregate, you don’t fake it.

And the only thing that might be fake at Bella Rose is the blood that Alexis Mincolla spills on Black Sunday. Named after Italian director Mario Bava’s ’60s B-movie classic and keened for the kinda cats and kittens for whom Monday means nothing, Mincolla’s “creepy pop murder night” is akin to Bedlam, without the restraints. Johnny the Boy spins his magic and liberates things, as does the fact that Lex has a dish named Leemor Rhodes as his partner.

Yet don’t think for one hot minute that Sunday’s the only night when Bella Rose thrives. DJ Tom Laroc delivers his kickass video mash-ups on New Jack Thursdays, and DJ Miner residents the weekend crush, so on any given open evening, you’ll get better than you deserve. Provided, that is, you know where to go because there’s no velvet ropes and there’s no flashing sign to point you on your way. So is it poetry? I don’t know. But I will tell you that it’s a place where the Lost Generation of poets would feel right at home. If it takes a poetic analogy to make my point, so be it. And so be Bella Rose.

Little Black Book: Bella Rose (Miami Herald)

via Miami Herald:

What: Bella Rose, 423 16th St., Miami Beach

Who goes: Lindsay Lohan — and we’re assuming her DJ galpal Samantha Ronson; Miami movie producer Alfred Spellman of rakontur (Cocaine Cowboys) is a part owner; and DJ Tom Laroc — doing his live video mixing Thursday nights — is a staple.

Vibe: The anti-South Beach. No shiny, glitzy furnishings. No guest list. No velvet rope. This small lounge feels like 2000s indie-kids took over a 1960s New York City bar.

Best night to go: Black Sundays, when you can hang out really late with the Cool Kids (we’re talking 4 a.m. on a school night!) and be part of their viral home movies, which reach their pinnacle with someone being killed. For fun, of course.

• Doors open at 11 p.m.

Best New Beach Hangout: Bella Rose

Forget who Keith P.’s brother is, and forget too the fact that his partner Alfred Spellman co-produced Cocaine Cowboys; instead, revel in the retrofit feel of the joint, which evokes the kinda bygone time when whispers rather than screams made right the night. It’s a feel that harkens back to an era long before models and bottles became the norm on South Beach, and an evocation that’s utterly reverent. That’s not to say there aren’t a lotta long and leggy dames hanging about, mind you, or that copious amounts of liquor aren’t being consumed. It’s just to say Bella Rose puts a premium on being a place for people who know that cool can’t be bought — at any price.

Bella Rose mention in Miami Herald

via Lesley Abravanel’s Velvet Underground column:

Liberating those of us who are over the whole bottle service situation in clubland is Bella Rose, a new lounge at 423 16th St., Miami Beach, opened by Keith Paciello (yes, the brother of that other Paciello) and filmmaker Alfred Spellman, who told us ”We were getting really tired of the same stale bottle service nightlife options, so we wanted to do a small room, kind of a throwback to The Spot or Lua.” Wow, a real blast from the distant past. The Spot and Lua, for those who weren’t here, were two of the hottest hangouts way back when.

Cocaine Cowboys Producers Embrace Movie Bootlegging

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