114 // INTO THE ORA

Ocean Drive - - Contents - BY CARLA TOR­RES

Mi­ami nightlife dis­ci­ples are up­ping the ante with Ora, a dis­cotheque un­like any other.

“Clubs have be­come about who is dee­jay­ing,” says Opium Group vet­eran Ryan Van Milligen of the bil­lion-dol­lar DJ scene that’s cat­a­pulted Mi­ami into the in­ter­na­tional nightlife spot­light. With his new club Ora, how­ever, he’s re­turn­ing to “the heart and soul of what made Mi­ami nightlife great” with a venue that will add even more of a scene. Van Milligen and his part­ner Dana Dwyer tell us why…

THE LOOK:

Ryan Van Milligen: Ex­clu­sive, grand, and lux­u­ri­ous. It’s all about the en­vi­ron­ment, the vibes, the peo­ple, and the en­ergy. The goal is for peo­ple who fly in on a pri­vate jet to walk in and say, “Man, I be­long here.”

Dana Dwyer: There’s a lot of pat­terns and de­tailed mold­ing work, two-way mir­rors, art through­out the venue. There’s no bar, wall, or ceil­ing that isn’t cus­tom-made.

THE FO­CAL POINT: RVM: We have a mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar ceil­ing with 26 eight-foot-wide LED pan­els that have crys­tals and smoke mir­rors. The whole ceil­ing moves, waves, and drops.

THE PEO­PLE: RVM: Ev­ery­one in the club should be a celebrity, lo­cal, fun, artsy, or an in­dus­try elite per­son you know, want to know, want to look at or in­ter­act with.

THE LOUNGE: RVM: The Anti-so­cial Lounge is warm, dark, in­ti­mate—like a New York/ Lon­don speakeasy. You can come get a nice old­fash­ioned with tequila and jalapeño [the No Coun­try for Old Men], have con­ver­sa­tion, and [ex­pe­ri­ence] a to­tally dif­fer­ent vibe than the high en­ergy, vol­ume, and show down­stairs. DD: It’s a lair of the club where it’s about the peo­ple, in­ter­ac­tions, and adding a cock­tail el­e­ment. We’re do­ing a Taschen book­shelf in­stal­la­tion so peo­ple can bring [books] back to ta­bles and start con­ver­sa­tion.

COCK­TAILS: RVM: Rodger Gille­spie has been in Ve­gas for the last 10 years at con­cepts like the Bel­la­gio. He cre­ated a re­ally unique and in­ter­ac­tive mixol­ogy pro­gram. DD: In the main room, we’ll have ta­ble­side mixol­ogy with but­lers and hand-shaken mar­ti­nis.

BEST NIGHT TO VISIT: RVM: Fri­day is house mu­sic night. Satur­day is more open-for­mat, col­lec­tive mu­sic, and ev­ery once in a while there’ll be a [sur­prise] per­for­mance. We want [peo­ple to] won­der, What will hap­pen tonight?

THE MEAN­ING BE­HIND “ORA”: RVM: “Ora” is Latin for beach. Mi­ami Beach is the heart and soul of what made Mi­ami nightlife great. We wanted to play on that, so when some­one asks, “Where are you go­ing out?,” you say, “Ora.”

THE DOOR SIT­U­A­TION: RVM: We never charge a cover. We think who­ever walks into Ora is a VIP. 2000 Collins Ave., Mi­ami Beach, 305-912-1010; oranight­club.com

MI­AMI NIGHTLIFE DIS­CI­PLES RYAN VAN MILLIGEN, DANA DWYER, GREG SEE, AND YANI ONTOS ARE UP­PING THE ANTE WITH ORA, A DIS­COTHEQUE UN­LIKE ANY OTHER.

Part­ners (from left) Dana Dwyer, Ryan Van Milligen, Greg See, and Yani Kon­tos have cre­ated a club that re­lies less on celebrity DJS and more on mak­ing ev­ery pa­tron feel like a VIP.

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