Monday, April 28, 2008

The Black Gold Experience - Inside Miami's Largest Urban Strip Club

By Te-Erika Patterson
MIA Magazine

There’s a buzz going around the city of Miami about the crowds of smiling faces pouring out of the building on the corner of Biscayne Boulevard and 78th Street at 7 a.m. nearly every morning.
From laborers, to entertainers to jubilant party goers, everyone in the city knows that Black Gold is where the party’s at. The adult entertainment club has re-opened as seasoned club manager Lenny Moore and financial consultant Bernard Jennings have partnered to kick start a new era in adult entertainment for the elite in Miami.

The multi-entertainment adult themed club boasts 18,000 square feet of luxurious space, 3 main stages, 4 full bars, a movie theatre, theatre style TV screens showing free pay per view sporting events, a 5 Star kitchen serving a full dinner and breakfast menu, valet parking, a private suite for intimate parties, 2 V.I.P. royalty suites complete with thrones as well as state of the art security to ensure that patrons, dancers as well as staff can embrace their fantasies in a safe environment.

More than 26 music videos have been filmed in the building, making use of the sleek design and contemporary styling of the club’s décor. The building was converted to a gentleman’s club from an actual movie theatre, hence the 40-foot-high ceilings and ample space.
Film companies have used the space for scenes in movies like The Crew and Let It Ride. Jennings claims it is the “largest urban adult entertainment venue in South Florida.”

Flashing Lights
On any given night under the flashing lights, pulsating music spun by DJ Papo and amidst the bevy of beauties circulating the club, it’s common to spot a music artist, television producer or celebrity quietly enjoying the party atmosphere.

Cash Money Records head honcho Birdman stopped by to celebrate with rapper Lil Wayne. “It’s my son’s birthday and we have to end the night here,” Birdman said. “It’s Miami night life. I always liked the feel of this club. The DJ is nice, I like the women and it’s a good feel, ya know.”
Atlanta rapper T.I. was spotted hanging out upstairs in VIP among other well known names, “All I can say is, I enjoyed myself,” he said with a grin.

Comedian J. Anthony Brown, actor Will Smith, rapper Missy Elliot, Miami rap pioneer JT Money as well as celebrated radio personality Tom Joyner all have ties to the club.
“Tom Joyner had his bachelor party here,” offered Lenny Moore. “No matter what the economy is going through, there’s always an occasion to celebrate.”

Not Just a Strip Club
Black Gold originated as an idea inspired by the magazine of the same name which was produced by Moore. After publishing the magazine, which proudly showcased Miami’s hottest female bodies, many of his associates wanted to meet the featured beauties. This led to the opening of Black Gold, the adult entertainment club, in June 1998 which subsequently closed in January 2003 due to parking issues.

Moore has had his hands in the adult entertainment business for more than a decade. After his recent departure as the manager of club Diamonds, Moore decided to re-open his gentleman’s club and celebrates his position as part owner of the only 100% Black owned and operated adult entertainment club in South Florida.

One might think adult entertainment clubs are run by sleazy old perverts who prey on shiftless dancers and spend money listlessly, but these club owners are educated, financially savvy businessmen who care about the success of their staff members and dancers.

“This is not a strip club, it’s a gentleman’s lounge,” said Moore, a former University of Miami football player who owned and operated an insurance company for 12 years. “The secret to my success is to follow the rules.”

In addition to his investment duties as a partner in Black Gold, Bernard Jennings is also a mortgage banker and financial radio talk show host. “[Black Gold] is a major corporation that makes a lot of money,” Jennings said. “If you run it professionally, you’ll make money.”
Both Moore and Jennings underwent 26 moral reference checks before being allowed to open and operate Black Gold, which has a 23-hour liquor license as well as permits to host parties and hold concerts.

The Main Attraction
The club’s main attraction are the widely recognized Fantasy Girls. These dancers are hand picked by entertainment coordinator Erica Chase. Night after night these ladies perform, creating an alluring, intoxicating experience that leaves patrons begging for more.

“We don’t just accept any dancers. We have to recognize the dancer’s ability to market themselves,” said Chase as she continued to explain why it’s important that the club hold such high standards. “We’re giving men a chance to live out their fantasies. We don’t want you to come here and see the same thing you see at home.”

Unless you’re a superstar baller or multi-millionaire guru, you may not have the chance to get up close and personal with the likes of the super sexy, premiere Fantasy Girls Platinum and Bounce.

Bounce, also known as Pretty Girl, is 5 feet 2 inches tall with a beautiful smile and a vibrant spirit that lights up the stage. She earned her nickname because of a signature dance move that she developed which attracts multitudes of admirers. Her costumes are tastefully chosen to accentuate her flawless physique. After more than 10 years as a dancer, Bounce knows what it takes to sustain success.

“We give the men what they don’t get at home,” Bounce said. Most would argue that what men want is a cheap thrill but Bounce disagrees. “A lot of them just want to talk and be your friend.”
Lenny Moore agrees with Bounce. “Our dancers are trained to listen,” Moore said. “Men want their egos stroked and that is what these girls are trained to do.”

Bounce took a 3 year break from her dancing career to become a personal assistant for a well known Miami Heat basketball player. After learning that Moore would be reopening Black Gold, Bounce eagerly joined his team and returned to her old lifestyle.

“We make more money in four months than executives make in a year,” Bounce said. “I’m a homeowner. I have investments. Besides…the best thing about being financially independent is, you can be with whoever you like. You can date a man with money or a man without money; it’s your call because you already have your own.”

When the DJ announces that veteran dancer Platinum is about to take the stage, all eyes are drawn to the largest circular main stage. Although she’s built like a stallion she purrs seductively like a kitten. When Platinum strides majestically toward the long silver pole, your eyes are captivated by her curvaceous physique. She commands the attention of on lookers as she gracefully teases them with her impeccable body and dazzling pole dancing skills.

Platinum has danced at Rolexx, CoCo’s, Magic City in Atlanta, Cleo’s in Orlando and Hustlers in New Orleans where she said they have a great appreciation for women.

“A lot of people think that we just come here and whore around,” said Platinum who is also a homeowner and entrepreneur. “But I look at this as a business. This is what I choose to do. This is what makes me happy. I love what I do, I’m an entertainer.”

Moore realizes that there is a certain measure of discipline needed to handle the amount of money that his dancers earn. To teach them how to manage the fruit of their labor, he offers monthly financial management courses with guest speakers and workshops.

“Being a dancer is like driving a cab,” Moore said as we relaxed in the Black Gold RV. “It gets you from where you are to where you want to be.”

Black Gold on Wheels
For the patron who deserves to be pampered, Black Gold offers the use of their plush RV. The Fleetwood Revolution is 40 feet long and has an all leather interior, satellite television, surround sound stereo system, 5 disc DVD changer, a CD changer and all wood cabinetry throughout.
There is a fully stocked wet bar, double sink, coffee maker, kitchen, washer and dryer, stand up shower, separate toilet stall and a king sized bedroom. The expandable living room allows that extra space if your party wants to get out of control.

“We’ll pick the patron up and take them around with their guests to other clubs,” Jennings explained. “Ultimately we’ll get them back to Black Gold. We’ll feed them steak, lobster and shrimp. They’ll enjoy the club and then we’ll take them back home safely. No drinking and driving, no text messaging while driving, everybody’s safe and sound. Everybody’s a rock star for 4 hours,” Jennings said with a laugh.

Black Gold
7770 Biscayne Blvd. Miami, FL 33138

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