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8 Beat Club Reopens in Goya with a Latin Twist

By: Jena Maddalino

Date Posted: 2000-02-27

One nice nightspot with a Latin twist and a Peruvian flair is now a focal point for many island merrymakers. The 8 Beat Rockhouse Club, once known as a wild R&B nightclub, much like the Pyramid Club, reopened its doors after years of closure, now offering the sounds of Latin Rock, Pop, Reggae, Salsa and Meringue.

The 8 Beat Club is the only Latin club located in the Goya district of Okinawa City. It has already established itself within a very short time as the best place for late night dancers. While in the past, it had a reputation for frequent fights and violent activity, the Club can now boast of a new attitude that falls well within the borders of the cool.

January 1st of this year marked the grand opening of the newly rearranged Club, under the management of Jonathan Shimokado. Jonathan, as he is simply referred to by the patrons, is not only a member of the group known as El Fieston, he is also of Peruvian descent, which gives the club an even sharper edge over likely competitors.

Jonathan came to Okinawa from Peru roughly 10 years ago, returning to his grandparents’ native land, and immediately became immersed in the Japanese world. In August of 1998, he became part of El Fieston, playing Latin sounds in places like the Human Stage and the 3rd Floor. While playing at the 3rd Floor, the owner of the 8 Beat Rockhouse approached Jonathan and asked him to come manage the Club, and reopen it with the Latin theme that El Fieston was becoming famous for.

“I wanted to share our Latin culture with the Okinawan people… I just didn’t dream that I would be doing this at such a young age,” says Jonathan. With a friend’s insistence that if “he built it, they would come,” a reference to the movie Field of Dreams, Jonathan decided to open the club. And at the age of 24, he and his group of Peruvian “cousins” (FrankZ, Michel, Pablo, Andy, Carlos, Rafael, Koji and Hanayo) opened the doors of the redesigned Club to 150 people.

According to Pablo Sarro (a member of El Fieston), the biggest success of the Club stems from the fact that that everyone gets along with each other and there have been no fights. While the majority of patrons are of Latin heritage, the rest are a cultural and ethnic mix. “We are known as being friendly... We are teaching cultural awareness, and we encourage young men to be gentlemen.”

The club’s style seems to work very well, as many customers dance to Latin rhythms there until close to 5:00 a. m. It is also evident that the Latin environment is growing in Okinawa, as many of the patrons at the Club are Japanese women, dressed in sexy clothes and dancing to the Salsa beat with lascivious movements. The most unique aspects of the club are that only true Latin music is played, and those who run the place actually go out on the dance floor to dance with the patrons.

The Club is planning various events for this year, including a Corona Beer festival sometime in March. Latin Dance lessons are also in the works, as is the possibility of live Latin bands.

The club is open 10:00 p.m. - 5:00 a.m. every day, except for Mondays. Admission is $10 or ¥1000 for women (two drinks included) and $15 or ¥1500 for men (two drinks included). Friday is Ladies’ Night, the night when admission is free for women.

Directions: From Kadena Gate 2, turn right at the four-corner crossing. Turn right again, at the intersection just before the Pyramid Club and you will see 8 Beat Rockhouse on the left.

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