This new nightclub pays tribute to a mobster’s Cuban hotel

A mural of American mobster and Hotel Habana Riviera owner Meyer Lansky overlooks the dining area of the new Riviera Live in Coral Gables.

Cuba’s Hotel Habana Riviera is making a comeback on Thursday at the grand opening of a new nightclub near Coral Gables. 

Riveria Live pays tribute to the rhythms of Cuban music, the spirit of dance and the timelessness of Havana’s Golden Age at Hotel Habana Riviera. At its peak, the hotel, which was built by a United States mobster Meyer Lansky in mid 1950s Havana, ushered in a brief explosion of music, entertainment and leisure before Fidel Castro’s violent takeover.

Large murals at Riviera Live hint at the voyage back in time, and the new lush two-story venue, at 3138 Coral Way in Miami, is decked out with a large stage for Latin performances that can be viewed from balconies. Riviera Live adds to its entertainment with showgirls dressed in intricate headdresses and other traditional attire.

Dancers dressed in colorful attire at Riviera Live.

At Thursday’s grand opening, Riviera Live will be graced by former beauty queen Zuleyka Rivera and singer Elvis Crespo.

Dancing is encouraged, Riviera Live spokesperson Ana Rivera said in a written statement.

“This space … brings the passion and energy of Havana’s Golden Age to the streets of Miami,” Rivera said. “Here, you can enjoy live music, a sit-down dinner then show off your best salsa moves on the dance floor.”

Appetizers and small bites crafted by Chef Jose Davila are available or patrons can opt for a four-course Caribbean-inspired meal instead. Seafood takes center stage on Riviera Live’s menu, with dishes like friend calamari and Octopus a la Gallega, but a variety of other options are also available. Guests can also sip on cocktails from Riviera Live’s posh bar.

Rivera said she wants Riviera Live to introduce Miami to the fun of Cuba’s heyday.

“We are ready to bring the party to the neighborhood. There is a reason Hotel Habana Riviera’s legacy lasted for more than half a century and we are ready to share that with Miami,” she said.

A specialty cocktail at Riviera Live in Coral Gables.


What: Riviera Live Grand Opening
When: Thursday, Aug. 17
Time: 9 p.m.
Where: 3138 Coral Way Miami, FL 33145

3138 Coral Way Miami, FL 33145