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Shake Your Body Down, Do the Conga

SUNDAY BRUNCH | Designing L.A.

January 18, 1998|MICHAEL QUINTANILLA

Hey L.A., let's all form a long, winding line, hands on those hips in front of yours. Now strut and shake a leg because the Conga Room is coming.

That's the word from Brad Gluckstein, local real estate developer and lover of Latin music. He's the Conga Room's creator and says the time is perfecto for his Miracle Mile club (5364 Wilshire Blvd.).

For sure, with the designing Ron Meyers--known for his work for the Atlas Bar and Grill--at the decor helm, the CR will mix the elegance of a nostalgic Art Deco Latin nightclub with a '90s salsa moderna look. (Think Ricky Ricardo's Tropicana mambos into "Miami Vice.")

Gluckstein and Meyers--and their crew--have taken the former Jack LaLanne Health Spa and transformed 12,000 square feet into lush tropical settings with the Conga Room at its heart.

With walls covered with colorful conga drums up to 8 feet tall, the CR features a stage and dance floor in a lounge-like mood.

A 4,000-square-foot ballroom, a VIP / cigar room, three bars and a separate, traditional Latin comedor (dining room) complete the cool conga concept.

"I think people are tired of the House of Blues and Planet Hollywood mentality. They want something culturally intelligent," Gluckstein says.

The club is backed by celebrities, including actress Jennifer Lopez, baseball's Bobby Bonilla, singer Tito Nieves and comedian Paul Rodriguez, Gluckstein says.

It will showcase local and international talent for Angelenos who love to salsa, mambo, cha-cha, meringue and Latin swing.

Celia Cruz, the "Queen of Salsa," headlines opening night, Feb. 20.

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