The Opium Group is one of the country’s most successful hospitality conglomerates, operating South Beach’s top nightclubs; Mansion, SET and Louis Bar‐Lounge, in addition to successful outpost; Privé Las Vegas. A driving force behind South Beach’s ongoing cultural renaissance and the national nightlife industry, The Opium Group has been heralded by People Magazine, Time, Harpers’s Bazaar, Travel & Leisure, The New York Times andnumerous other publications for drawing A‐list celebrities and the international jet‐set to its locations.
Visionaries with unique perspectives and expertise, managing partners Eric Milon, Roman Jones, Francis Milon and Justin Levine create a tour de force of hospitality, design and ambiance. Together they have made an indelible mark on nightlife’s landscape, enjoying enduring success in an industry where longevity is rare. A top model gracing the cover of GQ and the runways for Giorgio Armani, Paris native Eric Milon moved to Miami in the early 1990’s. Lured by South Beach’s burgeoning modeling scene, Eric soon realized the need for a chic eatery to entertain the international photographers, fashionistas and gliteratti seeking South Beach’s idyllic Deco backdrop. In 1991, he opened The Strand restaurant to unprecedented enthusiasm, creating a buzz that Miami had not experienced in decades. The celebrity elite soon flocked to The Strand, and Eric was dubbed one of the original pioneers of The American Rivera’s rebirth.
In 1996, Eric joined forces with Roman Jones, a young entrepreneur who cut his teeth in the corporate hospitality market, overseeing the expansion of the Taco Bell, Burger King and Domino’s Pizza brands. British‐born and rock and roll bred, Roman helped Eric operate The Living Room on Washington Avenue, inspiring the numerous bars and nightclubs that now line this popular street. Son of rocker Mick Jones, Roman used his business acumen to parlay this experience into a career as one of the leading nightclub operators in the country.
Eric’s brother Francis Milon joined The Living Room team in 1996, bringing the skills he honed working at Paris and New York’s top nightclubs. One of the fashion world’s foremost photographers by trade, Francis’s business know‐how ,coupled with his eye for beauty completed the trifecta,preparing them for their next great venture.
In 2001, The Opium Group took over a 30,000 sq. foot space in South Beach’s “South of Fifth” neighborhood. Daunted with the task of creating ambiance in a massive open‐air complex, The Opium Group set to work with an Asian‐themed design concept inspired by Eric’s interest in Far East philosophies. Featuring golden Buddha statues, Chinese lanterns, Asian accoutrements and towering palm trees, Opium Garden’s design concept surpassedall expectations. Miami’s club‐goers began visiting en masse, arriving in record‐breaking volumes of2,500 guests per night, with The Opium Group’s celebrity friends and fans following suit.
A year later, The Opium Group opened Privé, a chic ϋber‐lounge within Opium Garden designed with A‐list guests and Hollywood’s elite in mind. With a separate entrance, celebrities such as J. Lo, Britney Spears, Lenny Kravitz, Justin Timberlake, Cameron Diaz and many others come to Privé for the specialized treatment they can count on from The Opium Group. Featuring cutting edge décor, illuminated Lucite fixtures, streamlined sofas and a dramatic water wall, Privé has again brought Miami’s visibility to new levels. In 2004, The Opium Group’s efforts came full circle with the opening of Mansion. Located on Washington Avenue where their ventures began almost a decade ago, Mansion has broken all boundaries by bringing world‐class glamour back to this legendary street. Nightlife enthusiasts flock to this nightspot as well, reveling in the groundbreaking design of the historic building. The Opium Group’s “residence‐meets nightlife”concept again set the stage, transforming the 40,000 sq. foot space into an antebellum mansion‐inspired nightclub.Design elements include sweeping staircases, ornate fireplaces, Venetian glass mirrors, dramatic crystal chandeliers, exposed brick walls, towering keystone arches and plush seating areas decorating multiple floors of design and architectural decadence. In the time it has been open, Mansion has welcomed Paris Hilton, P. Diddy, J.Lo, Marc Anthony, The Black Eyed Peas, Beyonce, Jay-Z and many others.
2007 brought the opening of SET, The Opium Group’s chicest boite yet. Drawing inspiration from Hollywood’s golden years, SET couples tinsel town glamour with modern luxury galore and heralds the European “joie de vivre” that draws the international jet set to South Beach. Adorned with sleek Pucci fabric sofas, a modern glass enclosed fireplace, futuristic vacuum compressed elevators and dramatic ebony bars, SET has again reinvented Miami nightlife with a mix of international DJs and celebrities from Julia Stiles and Michelle Rodriguez to Spike Lee and Gisele Bundchen.
The Opium Group celebrated New Year’s Eve 2008 with the opening of its first West Coast outpost, Living Room and Prive Las Vegas, within the new Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. Spearheaded by Managing Partner Justin Levine, The Opium Group’s Las Vegas venues have taken Sin City by storm,packing the house night after night by innovating the Las Vegas nightlife formula with a new, fresh spin on design, programming and event concepts which The Vegas Strip has welcomed with open arms, as recognized in the pages of The Los Angeles Times, People Magazine and TV’s Access Hollywood.
Also opening in late 2008 was Louis Bar-Lounge, an eclectic and modern bar and lounge space in the new Gansevoort South located in the heart of South Beach.Celebrated for its downtown Parisian sensibility, Louis Bar-Lounge has already been declared a South Beach hotspot by celebrities ranging from Lindsay Lohan and Lenny Kravitz to Russell Simmons and Marilyn Manson. This is part of a long‐term strategy of partnership with both The Gansevoort Hotel brand in various markets.