‘Back and stronger than ever,’ Palace celebrates 30 years on Ocean Drive

“Jersey Shore’s” Jenni “JWOWW” Farley pictured at a recent brunch with Fantasia Royale Gaga. (Photo by Dale Stine).

The Pearl Ball Celebration to take place Feb. 16-18 with special guest DJs, live performances by the Palace divas and complimentary drinks and hors d’oeuvres

By Jose Cassola


It’s been two whole months since Palace reopened at its new location at 1052 Ocean Drive, and if you ask owner Thomas Donall how business has been, he’ll tell you “we are back and stronger then 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.”

Missy Meyakie LePaige with a senior patron at Palace. (Photo by Dale Stine).

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 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, including Noel Leon, Elishaly D’Witshes, Mhi’ya Iman LePaige and Angie Ovahness.

This past weekend, 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.

Elishaly D’Witshes is a Puerto Rican drag queen known for performing outrageous stunts. (Photo by Dale Stine).

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 with Fantasia Royale Gaga and Miss Meyakie LePaige for the upcoming reunion show, “Jersey Show: Family Vacation.”

Above, Andy Cohen of “Watch What Happens Live” pictured with Noel Leon, Mhi’ya Iman LePaige and Tiffany Fantasia. Below, the cast of Jersey Shore pictured with Missy Meyakie LePaige, Noel Leon, Fantasia Royale Gaga and Palace owner Thomas Donall. (Photos by Dale Stine).

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., hosted by Tiffany Fantasia, with music mixes by DJ Josh Riptide and open bar and complimentary hors d’oeuvres through 7 p.m. On Saturday, Feb. 17, the Disco Brunch is hosted by Missy Meyakie LePaige from 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.; then at 6 p.m., Tiffany Fantasia hosts “Drags Gone Wild: Three Decades of Madness.” The weekend-long festivities close on Sunday with “Brunchic: Divas Edition,” hosted by TP Lords, from 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. and the Pearl T-dance at 5 p.m., hosted by Missy Meyakie LePaige with music by DJ Scott Sheppard.

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 http://palacesouthbeach.com/.

Palace owner Thomas Donall says the 30-year-old bar at its new location on 1052 Ocean Drive is “back and stronger then ever.” (Photo by Dale Stine).


Author: JoCa Communications

Welcome to JoCa Communications, a media and public relations company headed by Owner and President Jose Cassola, a former Miami Herald reporter. Through his firm, Cassola writes stories and drafts press releases for community newspapers, blogs and other print and online publications. Cassola is also the Founder and Creative Director of SoBeGayNightlife.com, the go-to, where-to guide for all things gay (bars, clubs, restaurants, salons, shops, hotels, etc.) in South Beach, Greater Miami and Fort Lauderdale. If you have a publication and need writers, call Jose Cassola at 305-321-4270 or email josecassola@gmail.com.

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