NIGHTCLUBS: The Gold Coast

All 770 seats in the soaring, powder blue La Ronde Room at Miami Beach's Fontainbleau (pronounced: fountain-blew) Hotel were filled with men in silk suits and women in mutation mink. Steak dinners were snapped up at $10 a plate; drink-hustling waiters peddled hooch by the bottle ("Ya might as well. Yer payin' for it"). Then the M.C. silenced the house with a simple announcement: "Direct from the bar of the Boom Boom Room [another Fontainbleau saloon] we bring you the vocalist, Frank Sinatra."

The sleekly barbered businessman at ringside nodded his approval...

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