Arts + Culture

When a Fancy Restaurant Goes Rogue

Who knew that upscale Inca’s Kitchen turns into a throbbing, joyous Latin dance club from 10 p.m. till 2 a.m. on Saturday nights?

  The velvet VIP ropes were up, the red carpet was ready, and the two men largely responsible for transforming this upscale Peruvian restaurant to a swanky Latin dance club were sweaty. Saturday nights, from around 10 p.m. until 2 a.m., Inca’s Kitchen converts into a pocket of Miami-caliber nightlife in North Naples. The uncommon scene materializes in the most common of settings: a mall, the Pavilion shopping center. Shortly before 10:30 p.m. on a Saturday in April, German Marin, the party promoter, and Rafael Rottiers, Inca’s Kitchen chef and owner, hustled to clear space as they swapped dining tables, where my party had cleaned our plates of churrasco steak and swordfish, for cocktail-ready high-tops. The lights dimmed. The bass pumped and the restaurant was cast in a sapphire blue hue. “That’s the secret, that it doesn’t feel like a restaurant,” says Marin, owner of Unique Latin Nights. The Naples company hosts the party with a team of more than 20 that includes bartenders, VIP hostesses, DJs, security guards and a photographer. This evening was the first anniversary of Inca’s Saturday Latin Night. The idea originates with Marin, who moved to the United States from Colombia in 1996. He began working as a DJ in Southwest Florida around 2008 and has promoted Latin nights at venues in Bonita Springs and Naples before Inca’s Saturdays took off. Now he has plans to branch out to other spots on other nights in Southwest Fl
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