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Employees Only, famed cocktail bar, opens in Miami at the Washington Park Hotel


Managed by Highgate, developed by The Carlyle Group and Witkoff

MIAMI, FL – South Beach celebrates a milestone as the Washington Park Hotel unveils the final stage of its transformation into a boutique lifestyle hotel as the famed bar and restaurant Employees Only opens its doors on site.

A true urban oasis located just two blocks from the beach, Washington Park Hotel comprises of five Art Deco buildings built circa 1943 at the height of the South Beach Art Deco boom. Today, the new hotel pays homage to Miami’s cultural renaissance of art, music and food throughout the property, including its 181 guestrooms, pool and lush courtyard, Employees Only and Swizzle bar.

The launch of Employees Only marks the property’s grand opening and further solidifies the revitalization of the Washington Avenue neighborhood. With the arrival of the restaurant and Swizzle, a tropical bar by Employees Only Miami partner and bar manager Danilo Bozovic, the block between 10th and 11th street will become a destination for both locals and guests.

“Miami has changed tremendously with neighborhoods like Wynwood and Brickell becoming new ‘must see’ destinations. Right now, we’re seeing this same shift along the famed Washington Avenue strip, and the Washington Park Hotel is at the forefront of this renaissance,” said Vikash Maharaj, General Manager of Washington Park Hotel. “People are constantly falling back in love with the special Deco neighborhoods of Miami Beach, and we’re excited to be a part of that re-discovery.”

Steve Schneider of Employees Only a creates a Manhattan Cocktail.


Situated in the historic Coral House building is the Miami home of Employees Only, which brings key elements of the award-winning New York hotspot down south. Widely recognized as one of the top cocktail bars in the world, the outpost will welcome guests with prohibition style-libations and its signature psychic located at the entrance.

Employees Only Miami will mark the brand’s third location worldwide, and its first at a hotel property. An outpost in Singapore launched last year, with further global expansion in the pipeline.

“While looking for the perfect Miami location for Employees Only, it was important to maintain the brand’s Deco roots and serve as a place for locals first. Nowhere is better than South Beach in the Coral House, surrounded by residents who are the true EO clientele,” said Billy Gilroy, Founder of Employees Only. “The service industry in South Beach and the eclectic mix of cultures have always excited me about Miami, and now I have a restaurant right in the heart of this community.  We are thrilled to serve our award winning menu to locals, and invite our friends from around the world to experience EO in its new home at the Washington Park Hotel.”

In addition to Employees Only classics, such as the Billionaire Cocktail and Lazy Lover, a comprehensive food menu will also be available with dishes like hand-cut steak tartare, bone marrow poppers, bacon wrapped lamb chops, and caviar offerings. Employees Only will be open daily from 6 p.m. to 4 a.m., serving dinner from 6 p.m. to midnight and offering a late night menu until 3:30 a.m.

EO’s influence also extends to Swizzle, an intimate cocktail bar located in the main lobby conceived by Employees Only’s Danilo “Dacha” Bozovic, celebrating the namesake cocktail.


With over an acre of landscaped grounds, 181 comfortable guestrooms, and plenty of nooks worthy of exploration, Washington Park Hotel captures South Beach chic exactly as it should be – authentically and unpretentiously.

Designed by locally based Big Time Design Studios, the hotel evokes the Miami of yesteryear with its Art Deco touches while still employing a modern sensibility that inspires a relaxed, yet social atmosphere. Each of the five buildings have a distinct exterior look, but share the same feeling of being a haven for anyone from the Bohemian individual to couples with a sense of adventure, and young professionals looking to mix business and leisure. Upon arrival, guests receive a signature cocktail from a bar cart located in the energetic lobby. The rooms, which are spread across four of the buildings, feature modern gray and wood color schemes with splashes of warm yellows and oranges, including accent pillows playfully embossed with “Hello My Love.”

At the epicenter of the property lays an idyllic pool, tropical gardens and relaxing hammocks – all designed to celebrate the fine art of doing nothing. Inside, a state-of-the-art fitness center awaits for those looking to perfect their beach bod.

When it’s time to retreat, Washington Park Hotel features a variety of plush and spacious rooms, designed for relaxation and comfort. In-room amenities include Beekman 1802 Bath amenities, mini fridge, terrycloth robes, down-filled comforter, smart plugs, 43’ Flat Screen TVS and a Starbucks Coffee Maker.

Image result for employees only cocktail bar


Play isn’t just a preference at Washington Park Hotel, it’s a lifestyle. The hotel is “Where Play Happens” so you can be sure they do it right. For those seeking nostalgia beyond the Art Deco design, a variety of retro arcade games are situated throughout the property where guests can get their fix of pinball, Pac-Man, Frogger, Donkey Kong and more, complimentary. Out on the courtyard, ping-pong, life-size Jenga and bocce ball provide entertainment until well after the warm SoBe sun sets.

Fun doesn’t stop there. A fleet of seven custom Martone cycling bikes are at guests’ disposal to navigate Miami Beach in style, and a signature three-wheeled, electric Tuk Tuk shuttles passengers to go anywhere, from shopping on Lincoln Road to catching rays at beach.


Providing chic hospitality, enviable food and beverage, and a variety of exciting on-property programming and amenities, the hotel offers an unparalleled setting for a Miami getaway where people mix as easy as the cocktails.

After an extensive renovation with significant investments by Witkoff and The Carlyle Group, Washington Park Hotel is poised to reinvent the area with the completion of the hotel and Employees Only under Highgate’s management.

For reservations or more information visit http://www.wphsouthbeach.com/ or call 305.421.6265. Washington Park Hotel is located at 1050 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139. Rates start at $199/night.

Washington Park Hotel is managed by Highgate, a premier hospitality investment and management company whose growing portfolio includes more than 100 properties in gateway cities worldwide.


About Employees Only

Employees Only opened its doors in 2004, tucked behind a nondescript green awning in New York’s West Village. Amongst its many awards and accolades, the bar was most recently named the Worlds Best Bar at New Orleans’s esteemed Spirited Awards in 2011 and Best Bar Team and Best High Volume Cocktail Bar in 2015.  Known nationwide for spearheading a resurgence in sophisticated cocktail culture, it also boasts a rustic, Balkan-influenced food menu which has become a trademark of the brand. The owners have stayed true to their roots by providing top hospitality to their fellow service industry workers and fans alike. Employees Only is not just the name of the institution, but a true definition of the brand ethos and DNA. Its Miami Beach location opens Winter 2017. For more information please visit www.employeesonlymiami.com.

About Highgate

Highgate is a premier real estate investment and hospitality management company widely recognized as an innovator in the industry. Highgate is the dominant player in U.S. gateway markets including New York, Boston, Miami, San Francisco and Honolulu. Highgate also has an expanding presence in key European markets through properties in London, Paris, Barcelona, Vienna and Prague. Highgate’s portfolio of global properties represents an aggregate asset value exceeding $10B and generates over $2B in cumulative revenues. The company provides expert guidance through all stages of the hospitality property cycle, from planning and development through recapitalization or disposition. Highgate has created a portfolio of bespoke hotel brands and utilizes industry leading proprietary revenue management tools that identify and predict evolving market dynamics to drive outperformance and maximize asset value. With an executive team consisting of some of the industry’s most experienced hotel management leaders, the company is a trusted partner for top ownership groups and major hotel brands. Highgate maintains corporate offices in New York, London, Dallas, Chicago and Seattle. For more information, visit www.highgate.com.

About Witkoff

Witkoff is a privately held, global real estate development and investment firm headquartered in New York City. Founded by Steven Witkoff in 1997, the firm is a market leader in the ownership and development of premier residential, hospitality, office, retail and mixed-use projects in major cities both in the United States and abroad. Witkoff specializes in identifying and acquiring undervalued properties in key central business district locations as well as assets with strong repositioning potential in gateway markets. Leveraging a vertically integrated, operationally focused approach to project development, with in-house teams focused on acquisitions, financing, design, development, construction, sales and marketing, and asset and property management, Witkoff has consistently executed creative strategies across diverse asset classes. Witkoff currently owns a large diverse portfolio that includes a number of high-profile projects under development. Over an 20-year period, Witkoff has been involved in over 75 projects comprising more than 18 million square feet and representing in excess of $10 billion in total transaction value. For more information please visitwww.witkoff.com.

About Carlyle

The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) is a global alternative asset manager with $169 billion of assets under management across 125 funds and 177 fund of funds vehicles as of September 30, 2016. Carlyle’s purpose is to invest wisely and create value on behalf of its investors, many of whom are public pensions. Carlyle invests across four segments – Corporate Private Equity, Real Assets, Global Market Strategies and Investment Solutions – in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, North America and South America. Carlyle has expertise in various industries, including: aerospace, defense & government services, consumer & retail, energy, financial services, healthcare, industrial, real estate, technology & business services, telecommunications & media and transportation. The Carlyle Group employs more than 1,625 people in 35 offices across six continents.