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Nikki Beach pops up at Oreya

It’s hard to say what was shorter at the Nikki Beach pop-up at Oreya in Southampton last week: the menu, the dresses, or the duration.
The famously chic and always hot restaurant, luxury, and hospitality brand, with 13 locations worldwide, gave new meaning to the idea of a “pop-up”; they opened shop at The Capri Hotel on June 29th and shut down less than 24 hours later.

But opening night was fun indeed! The hemlines and heels were high! Amidst the short shorts and strappy negligee-esque dresses, were a few blue blazers (but this is Southampton after all!)

Following the theme in their other trendy venues including St. Tropez, Ibiza, and St. Barths, there was champagne and sparklers! And those famous sushi boats! After signature mojitos were served, saxophonist David Rodriguez, visiting from the Miami location, jumped on the table and partyers wasted no time joining him dancing around the mostly empty glassware.

And as in the fairytale Cinderella, just before midnight (and after the Cookie Jar with milk dessert was served), the tables and chairs disappeared and the place morphed into a dance club complete with the DJ spinning tunes so popular that the institution offers them on Spotify, CDs, and vinyl.

“We have fun, we interact, we dance!” said Charlie, a Nikki Beach Ambassador from St. Barth’s, before pouring champagne directly from a glass in his mouth into the waiting mouth of a (female) patron. “We’re unique!”
“Our mantra is ‘Celebrate Life!’” said Lucia Penrod, who founded the restaurant with her husband Jack 20 years ago after their daughter Nicole died in a car accident at age 18. “It gives meaning to our brand.”

Penrod explained that pop-up “happened organically” and seemed the best way to “test the waters” in The Hamptons. The franchise flew in their famed furniture-“white and wood is our vibe”-for the six-day Hamptons audition. Looking around the lively room, she declared, “This is our clientele!”

“The Hamptons is like a movie of America,” noted Jérôme Delamaire, Général Manager of Nikki Beach St. Barths over the pumping music. “It was only natural that we bring Nikki Beach here.”

But despite having already pre-booked their famous “Rose Saturday,” “Amazing Sunday,” and a closing night Fourth of July bash, Nikki Beach released a statement one day into their run saying that they were closing up shop in Southampton. “We couldn’t deliver the service that you’re used to at our other properties and the client experience is of utmost importance to us.”

Staying true to the founder’s words, the most important part of Nikki Beach still remains “the people!”

But don’t fret; come July 4th, the franchise will be opening its 14th location on Sardinia’s Costa Smerelda. The canteen for the jet-settiest will be accessible only by sea. Prepare to launch the yacht! Ahoy-to Nikki Beach!

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