Gerry Kelly Biography
Having established himself as a haute couture designer and international nightclub entrepreneur at the helm of the famed PACHA Empire, Gerry Kelly was the face behind legendary over-the-top parties in Europe. In 1993, commissioned to America by the lead singer of the famed Simply Red group, Mick Hucknel, Kelly headed Bash, a nightclub opened with partner Sean Penn. Kelly's European influence at Bash was noticeable as he debuted an exclusive VIP room complete with bottle service, super models, celebrities and a velvet rope that rivaled the former Studio 54.
After much success with the European concept, Kelly left Bash in 1997 and began work on a new club, Shadow Lounge. The lounge was at the forefront of music and fashion, offering larger runways, state of the art sound systems and a lavish VIP room graced by royalty and glamour. Upon opening its doors in 1998, Shadow Lounge received some of the highest accolades. Details Magazine named the lounge “Best Club in America;” the concept was truly an overnight sensation.
In 1998 Kelly worked alongside Miami nightlife legend Chris Paciello. Offering his talents, Kelly ran the multi-million dollar BarRoom and aided with Pacielio’s conglomerations of urber trendy restaurant Joia and hotspot Liquid. Gerry was placed at the lead, accommodating celebrities like Madonna, Naomi Campbell, N’Sync, Donatella Versace and Puff Daddy as regular patrons.
The partnership with Paciello was short lived as Kelly made a decision to bid on one of the largest nightclub’s in Florida. In 1999 the bid was accepted, jump-starting Kelly’s millennium with his new concept, Level. Part of a joint venture, complimented by four other partners, Kelly was the powerhouse behind 40,000 square feet of pristine Art Deco theatre, six different levels, nine exclusive VIP rooms and the most coveted DJ's in the world. The twenty-five internationally recognized awards, including best club, best sound and best lighting hardly compared to the magic of America’s elite including benefits hosted by President Bill Clinton & Attorney General Janet Reno.
After celebrating four years with one of Miami’s finest nightclubs and having been awarded "Best Club of the Year" by Miami New Times, Gerry Kelly decided to sell Level to partner with Cecile Barker to bring the nightclub State to South Beach. State was set to be an ultra chic lounge located on Lincoln Road that opened in January of 2003. Lavishly decorated with couture gowns designed by Kelly himself, this hip night spot became favorite to music talents Jay-Z, Lil’ Kim, Beyonce, P. Diddy, Busta Rhymes, Jada Kiss and Cierra.
On November 11 of 2005 Gerry opened another set of doors -- Shine at The Shelborne. Kelly partnered on this venture along side well-known former DJ talent, Jon Cowan. The grand opening fete was nothing shy of outstanding. Patrons were greeted by costumed women adorned in lavish time-pieces designed by Kelly.The lounge, designed by Kelly and equipped with state of the art sound by Steve Dash, was truly reflective of Kelly’s many years of nightlife experience. An accumulation of experience throughout Kelly’s timeline of success, Shine was to be the seen and be seen hotspot in Miami Beach.
In October 2006 Gerry opened The Fifth, a lavish location for those with discerning taste located on 5th street on Miami Beach. The Fifth was adorned with private penthouse suites, custom refrigerators at each VIP table with private celebrity designer coolers filled with lavish champagnes and owned by celebrities such as Paris Hilton Owen Wilson, Ivanka Trump to mention a few. Kellys would also make The Fifth the leading corporate event location in Miami with regular clients such as Tyco, Sports Illustrated, Nascar, Time Warner, Cadillac, Nissan ,Hawaiian Tropic.
In 2008 Kelly accepted an offer to take the helm of the 30 million dollar compound Karu & Y located in Downtown Miami. The venue which showcases original Chihuily Chandeliers, Venini Murano Glass walls and 9 waterfalls is the ultimate event location in Florida and the ultimate celebrity hideout. Kelly was Vice President of the company.
In late 2009 Kelly resigned from Karu & Y to open Mi-VI at Gulfstream, a concept he describes as The British House Of Windsor meets Studio 54.