Dick Clark's New Club: And the Beat Goes On [New Miami magazine]
by Hope Katz Gibbs
New Miami magazine
City Beat / September 1990
Design by Kevin Jolliffe
“WHAT A NIGHT,” SIGHS DICK CLARK as he eases into a red cushioned booth at Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Cafe at Bayside. He has been busy signing autographs, and he pulls three black markers from his pocket to demonstrate.
“This thick one is for signing clothes, this Bic marker is for signing napkins, and this thin market is for paper. On my way up here, a young lady asked me to sign her tush. “ He grins, raises an eyebrow and whips out a fourth marker. “ For that, I used the indelible ink.”
Meeting him only slightly tarnishes the Dorian Gray image of Dick Clark, the eternal teenager. Yes, the 62 year- old host of the long-running TV teen paean “American Bandstand” has lines in his face and a slightly paunchy mid-section. But his energy, and that smooth-as-silk voice, is ageless.
Since “American Bandstand” went off the air in 1985, Clark has developed and produced such TV shows as the new “Let’s Make a Deal,” the “Academy of Country Music Awards,” and the “MTV Video Music Awards.” Now he’s trying to perfect his restaurant skills at Miami’s newest Bayside bistro, the Bandstand Café.
At least twice a month, Clark makes an appearance and signs autographs at this 9,000-square-foot hub where architects recreated an old set from the “American Bandstand” show, complete with a mock television camera. Diners can also record their own tapes or videos in special booths.
The club’s only stigma is that it occupies the space at Bayside where Mariel Hemmingway tried running a restaurant called Zemos, which failed a month after it opened. Clark says he knows it takes more than a famous name to make a restaurant prosper.
“You have to pay close attention to detail to make it work,” he shares. “If anything, I am too involved. Sometimes I think I must be driving the managers crazy, but that’s my style. I am a perfectionist.”
Depending on the Miami club’s success, other American Bandstand Cafes may follow, Clark says.
“So far I’ve had 24 inquiries from American cities that want the club to open there, and we’ve had three legitimate offers from Japan,” Clark says. “I am not doing anything about that just yet. I want to wait until the Miami store is perfect.”