[Chadner Navarro / Modern Luxury Magazine]
No one would ever call karaoke a classy affair. In fact, there’s very little glamour involved in an activity rarely performed sober. But if Tatiana Brunetti has her way, kitschy karaoke will soon be a thing of the past. She’s already made it happen in Moscow and Manhattan. And this summer it’s Miami’s turn when Jelsomino opens its doors (and turns up the volume) in South Beach.
Brunetti, a 32-year-old Ukraine native and one-third of the Ginza Project (the company financing Jelsomino), is already a legend in Russia with some 70 restaurants to her name. Now, she has set her sights on America and, more specifically, the thumping, after-dark prospects of South Beach.
Situated in the old Aero Bar space, Jelsomino is, simply put, a fancy karaoke joint, but Brunetti insists that her team’s goal goes beyond just providing a glittering venue for American Idol wannabes. “We work hard to make [patrons] feel like superstars and leave their BS excuses at the door.”
Just how hard? “At Jelsomino, everything is showier, with more bling, because atmosphere is the key to any nightlife establishment,” she says. To that end, patrons are treated to an extensive digital song selection on iPads, a caviar and artisanal cheeses menu, bottle service, easy-on-the-eyes staffers dressed like showbiz upstarts, and four soundproof rooms for groups of 8 to 20 people to host private parties.
But perhaps what sets the venue apart the most is its theatrical excess, which includes professional backup singers, state-of-the-art spotlights and speakers, and all sorts of arena concert accoutrements for every daring soul who steps up to the stage.
“You come here for the complete experience,” says Brunetti, who has plans for a total of 120 venues all over the world (LA is slated to open next year), and the frequent flier miles to prove it. Not that she doesn’t make time for a sound-check or two.
“I prefer to be behind the scenes rather than on stage, but I can definitely perform,” she says. “My favorite is ‘On the Floor’ by Jennifer Lopez.”
Original Post: http://www.modernluxury.com/miami/articles/stage-right