The Palace may have closed for a short while but after two months of being back up and running owner Thomas Donald said “we are back and stronger than ever.”
Known for providing drag shows that spill onto the sidewalk and into Ocean Drive traffic, the iconic drag bar celebrates 30 years in South Beach with an over-the-top anniversary bash Friday, Feb. 16 through Sunday, Feb. 18, featuring special guest DJs, live performances by the Palace divas and complimentary drinks and hors-d'oeuvres. Donall promises a good time for all.
“Palace Bar is for everyone,” Donall said. “We represent all communities — gay, straight, bi, trans, seniors, black, white, Asian, Hispanic — to come together and celebrate life.”
When Palace closed its old iconic location at 1200 Ocean Drive in July 2017, the intent was always to reopen as soon as possible on another spot on Ocean Drive. It took four months, but Donall made good on his promise, reopening in November at its current home on the same block as The Clevelander at 1052 Ocean Drive.
At least twice the size of the old locale, the new Palace has plenty of room for the drag queens to perform a split, death drop, rolling cannonball and cartwheels — and each of those have already been flawlessly executed by some of the resident divas.
This past weekend, Elishaly D’Witshes — the Puerto Rican drag queen known for performing outrageous stunts — did it again, jumping off the top of a double-decker bus and landing in a perfect split, wowing the brunch crowd and passerby. A video captured by Palace staff generated more than 22,000 views on Facebook.
“That’s how we do it at the Palace,” said manager Lucas Almeida, who took the video.
The new Palace, much like the old, has never had trouble attracting celebrities. In recent weeks, Bravo’s Andy Cohen — of “Watch What Happens Live” fame and a self-proclaimed Palace fan — was seen a handful of times dining and hanging with the queens, including his favorite Tiffany Fantasia. And two weekends ago, the cast of “Jersey Shore” — including Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, Jenni “JWOWW” Farley and Deena Nicole Cortese — had Sunday brunch at the Palace while a camera crew filmed their antics for the upcoming reunion show, “Jersey Show: Family Vacation.”
The latest celebrity sightings couldn’t have better timing as the iconic drag bar prepares to mark its 30th anniversary with The Pearl Ball Celebration.
On Friday, Feb. 16, the celebration begins at 6 p.m. with open bar and complimentary hors-d'oeuvres through 7 p.m. On Saturday, Feb. 17, a Disco Brunch takes place from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.; then at 6 p.m.: “Drags Gone Wild: Three Decades of Madness.” The weekend-long festivities close on Sunday with “Brunchic: Divas Edition,” from 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. and the Pearl T-dance at 5 p.m.
Donall says the goal at Palace is to “allow you to let your hair down for a few hours, have a good laugh with friends, enjoy your buzz while having brunch or dinner and be entertained by the No. 1 drag performers in South Beach.”
“We guarantee that you'll leave feeling satisfied,” he said.
For more information, visit PalaceSouthBeach.com.