Inside The Bath Club Miami Beach: The First Private Social Club In The Southeast

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 the time, minorities— Blacks, Jews, Asians— were not allowed to enter. But in 1999, African-American real estate developer Don Peebles bought the members-only club with the mission of making it “exclusively inclusive.”

Almost 20 years later—after an extensive renovation—The Bath Club officially reopened its doors this March. The club’s original romantic architecture was refreshed by Miami-based female designers Jamaican-born Allison Antrobus and Filipino-American Ruby Ramirez (formerly Antrobus + Ramirez). “The inspiration came from the Mediterranean Revival architecture of the building,” Ramirez shares with Forbes. “The muted gem-tones paired with the nostalgic throwback to the 1920s reflect a building stopped in time, layered with the fresh sensibility of a modern-day beach club.”

A three-acre private white sand beach offers glorious views of the Atlantic Ocean. Members can enjoy the club’s food and beverage offerings by Apicii Hospitality, as well as at the bougainvillea-filled courtyard and veranda, by resort-style pool, the cigar and tasting room, and the formal chophouse, which pays homage to the 1950’s golden era of drinking and dining. These include the popular sea scallops in brown butter, Maine lobster tagliatelle and truffle pizza, by executive chef Jeff Masanz, who worked previously at the Boca Raton Club and Resort. Beverage director Kyle Tran, previously at The Aviary in Chicago and Employees Only Los Angeles, also put together a cocktail list divided into signatures and new classics including Miami Mule and Bathtub Negroni, crafted from the club’s library of over 400 spirits. The wine list leans towards American and French, but also features a selection of Italian, German, Spanish and Argentinean bottles.

The Club is nearly sold out of 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, legacy and authenticity for all,” said Mr. Peebles. “The overwhelming response by founding members has been a true testament to the Club’s storied past and promising future. This is truly where members can come together for enriching experiences surrounded by privacy and luxury.” 

The Bath Club is slated to open its second restaurant this fall, titled Cafeteria, led by Fernando Dallorso, former manager of Cipriani.


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