Rebranding and reinventing an established name is not an easy affair, and nor should it be. In the transient nightlife in South Florida the "try" list is far longer than the "succeeded," but those odds don't impose on those who venture into it looking to conquer the entertainment scene. The creative minds of Crown Concepts, Megan Laich and Brian Basti are no strangers to South Florida's nightlife needs; in a way, they are equal parts trendsetters and pioneers behind some of the most successful haunts this part of the state has to offer.
So it is with a clear mind and a retroactive respect that they have pooled their boutique resources into revamping the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood's Piano Hollywood, giving it an artisanal flair and touch that is more inviting to locals than to the general casino crowd. Not that there is a smidgen of exclusivity within its stylized walls, but rather a calm oasis for all walks of life who can enjoy locally-sourced, perfumed cocktail concoctions in the bygone tradition of the best hotel lobbies and the romantic era of South Beach's jazz scene.
We're talking a straight-up piano bar where the drinks are well-priced; the selections are elegant, but not overbearing, and the staff is as friendly as they are informative. This is no "jacket required" establishment, but it certainly becks the call to at least give it your best "Rat Pack Cool" out of your summer-friendly wardrobe.
A re-launch grand opening this past Thursday was equal parts family reunion and a who's who of South Florida's shakers and movers in the music and nightlife scenes. Piano promises multi-disciplinary artists providing atmosphere paired with delectable bar choices. And as was the case at the opening, locals Brendan O'Hara, Ingrid B, Hal Roland, and Anomaly brought an even-keeled libretto of piano classics, original compositions and spoken word performances.
Half of that group will be involved with Piano's programming schedule. And if the sheer joie de vivre of Thursday's enthusiastic opening is a guiding line of nights to come, one can expect to walk in specifically for a performer, not find them, and still come away with a positive musical experience.
Conveniently located near the main parking hubs of the casino, Piano will certainly raise the stakes of their established neighbors. One can only hope that this budding energy that's already gaining momentum continues to do so within the parameters established by the creative force behind this endeavor: class, retro-respect, and a welcoming warmth to locals and tourists alike. In other words, Piano Hollywood will firmly cement itself as an exciting area with a different attitude South Florida has missed for some time now.