1. Travel
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Black Legend Monaco: Can't-Miss Cultural Experience in Monte Carlo

Headed to or through Monaco? This celeb-stuffed club is a must

By

Black Legend Monaco, the music club in Monte Carlo.
A glimpse of Black Legend Monaco. ©Groupe Floirat.
Diana Ross picture at Black Legend Monaco in Montel Carlo.
The art's amazing at Black Legend Monaco (yes, that's Diana Ross) ©Groupe Floirat.
Black Legend Monaco, the famed music club in Monte Carlo.
All the world's a stage (and bar) at Black Legend Monaco. ©Groupe Floirat.

What Is Black Legend Monaco in Monte Carlo?

Black Legend Monaco is many things:

  • It is a Monte Carlo, Monaco cultural landmark that exists to celebrate black American music of various eras and genres, from Motown to disco to funk to contemporary R&B
  • It is a restaurant with an eclectic menu that offers Italian, French, and Spanish dishes, all with a certain American spirit
  • It is a bar known for inventive cocktails
  • And by night, Black Legend becomes a live music club that charges no admission or cover
  • Around midnight, the club morphs into a pulsating dance spot, and its dance floor fills with exuberant duos

Location of Black Legend Monaco

Black Legend Monaco draws music-lovers and nightowls to its home in Monte Carlo, which nestles between the French Riviera and the Italian Riviera. Monte Carlo, a favorite roost of the international jet set, is the hub of the tiny Principality of Monaco of Princess Grace fame.

Black Legend Monaco perches on Monte Carlo's waterfront, where it commands a spectacular panorama of the Mediterranean harbor and its yacht-filled marina.

Who Owns Black Legend Monaco?

Black Legend Monaco is the brainchild and personal passion of Groupe Floirat CEO Antoine Chevanne, a Frenchman who is a devotee of African-American music. (Groupe Floirat, a hospitality company, owns French hotels including Hotel Byblos in St. Tropez and La Réserve Saint-Jean-de-Luz in Basque country.)

What the Crowd Is Like at Black Legend Monaco

Black Legend Monaco's irresistible music and lively air attracts a diverse clientele. The crowd spans a range of ethnicities, nationalities, and ages. Some Black Legend Monaco patrons are Monte Carlo visitors, while others are residents.

The crowd shifts as the night goes on. Baby Boomers and 40-somethings kick off the evening at Black Legend Monaco. But 20- and 30-something partiers roll in around midnight, dancing and socializing into the wee hours.

What Patrons Love About Black Legend Monaco

Black Legend Monaco provides its own, inspired brand of entertainment, with a "Black is beautiful" feeling and tempo, and nightly live bands.

The music programming mixes it up with eras, genres, and style of bands. Some are French, some are American, and some are from other places. Some have singers and/or dancers.

Sometimes the bands provide faithful covers. Sometimes they put their own spin on iconic acts like Michael Jackson, soulful Sam Cooke, and modern-day crooner Maxwell.

French groups like the Soul Tigers and singer Mike Louvila croon favorites ranging from Marvin Gaye's sensual "Let's Get It On" to Prince's "Kiss" (with soaring falsettos and all). Other live bands master a mix of Motown, acid jazz, soul, R&B, and funk.

But Black Legend Monaco is not only a nostalgia trip. Resident DJ Zen-K spins contemporary excitement, keeping bodies moving on the dance floor until le coq crows.

Monte Carlo visitors who love African-American music, or glittering nightclubs, or a true Monaco scene are captivated by Black Legend Monaco.

The Style of Black Legend Monaco

This sultry spot first opened its doors in 2009 with a star-studded fête that les Monégasques are still talking about. Monaco's Sovereign Prince Albert II was on hand to christen the club.

Black Legend Monaco exists to keep classic African-American music as fresh as the day these beloved songs rolled out on vinyl.

But despite Black Legend Monaco's frequent musical nods to the past, the club keeps reinventing itself to stay fresh. Its menu is a seasonal work in progress, and its décor pays homage to the Studio 54 disco era while looking chic and modern.

Black Legend Monaco owner Antoine Chevanne admired the style of his favorite cult films including Shaft and Pulp Fiction. And he sought to create a 1970s New York look. To him, this meant loft-like exposed brick walls, cushy chocolate leather club chairs, and mirrored lights over the bar.

Shout-outs to soul stars of eras past are everywhere at Black Legend Monaco:

  • Framed vintage images of Muhammad Ali, Marvin Gaye, Isaac Hayes, the Jackson 5, and an Afro-wearing Diana Ross
  • Concert posters for now-historic shows by the Temptations, Aretha Franklin, and Ray Charles

All this eye candy is enhanced by Black Legend Monaco's strictly gorgeous, black-garbed male waitstaff, who are surprisingly friendly and attentive.

Patrons who can take their eyes off the waiters will find that the fantasy Mediterranean view from the club's outdoor dining terrace is a sight to behold.

Celebrities You Might See at Black Legend Monaco

Patrons of Black Legend Monaco might spot bold-face clubgoers like:

  • French actor (and Halle Berry fiancé) Olivier Martinez
  • British-French actress Gabriella Wright (from Showtime’s The Tudors)
  • Brazilian NASCAR driver Nelson Piquet Jr.

Dining & Drinking at Black Legend Monaco

Black Legend Monaco serves all day and all evening. Sunday brunch (including Champagne and barbecue) and daily Happy Hour are crowd-pleasers. Patrons can order everything from light bites to steaks for two.

Chef/manager Julien Tosello, who's passionate about Americana, created Black Legend Monaco's Mediterranean-American fusion menu. Highlights of the menu, creatively printed inside Black Legend faux album covers:

  • Pata Negra-Burrata-Parmesan (buttery Spanish ham with two Italian cheeses)
  • Pizza Truffe de Saison (pizza showered with truffles, royally priced)
  • Risotto Truffe de Saison (same deal)
  • Côte de Boeuf 1 kg pour 2 Personnes (2.2-pound bone-in ribeye steak for two)

How to Connect with & Reserve Tables at Black Legend Monaco

  • On Black Legend Monaco's website
  • Via email
  • To jump the long line or reserve a table, ask your hotel concierge for help (and hope that he or she is connected)
  • From Guest Author and Black Legend Monaco authority, Maureen Jenkins, this sneak preview
  • Black Legend Monaco
    Quai Albert 1er
    Route de la Piscine
    98000 Monte Carlo, Monaco

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.