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Where is Griselda set? The gritty real-life locations behind the cartel crime drama

The Mutiny Hotel’s members only nightclub sets the scene for Griselda’s darkest dealings (ELIZABETH MORRIS/NETFLIX)
The Mutiny Hotel’s members only nightclub sets the scene for Griselda’s darkest dealings (ELIZABETH MORRIS/NETFLIX)

Netflix’s new miniseries Griselda starring Sofia Vergara has viewers who can handle some serious gore hooked, and there’s no shortage of deadly onscreen destinations to discover.

The six-part drama follows Colombian businesswoman turned drug trafficker the “Cocaine Godmother” Griselda Blanco and the Cártel de Medellín as they grow a Miami drug empire.

Though Griselda’s world is immersed in the 1970s and 1980s retro Miami scene – once the cocaine capital of the United States – no sequences were filmed in the Floridian city.

Frames are reminiscent of retro ‘70s and ‘80s Miami (COURTESY OF NETFLIX)
Frames are reminiscent of retro ‘70s and ‘80s Miami (COURTESY OF NETFLIX)

Executive producer of the trending series Eric Newman explained: “We couldn’t go to Miami because Miami looks nothing like, you know, pre-cocaine explosion Miami where our story is set.

“We had to recreate it in Los Angeles.”

The task fell on set director Kim Leonard to build stages of old-world Miami in Los Angeles, California and film frames as period-appropriate as possible.

Is the Mutiny nightclub real?

The East Coast criminal haunt was recreated in LA (COURTESY OF NETFLIX)
The East Coast criminal haunt was recreated in LA (COURTESY OF NETFLIX)

Yes. The Mutiny Hotel’s members-only nightclub on Sailboat Bay was notorious as the illicit setting for drug kingpins to deal, trade and fearmonger, and Griselda was known to operate at the cocaine hotspot.

Picture bullet holes, gold cocaine spoons and hot tubs of Dom Pérignon on your average Tuesday.

The era of anarchy came to an end in 1985 when the Mutiny closed its doors. It would remain shut for 14 years.

Exterior shots used an ‘80s hotel in the City of Industry, San Gabriel Valley (ELIZABETH MORRIS/NETFLIX)
Exterior shots used an ‘80s hotel in the City of Industry, San Gabriel Valley (ELIZABETH MORRIS/NETFLIX)

As of 2024, the revamped hotel is open for guests visiting ‘The Magic City’, a palm-studded family-friendly hotel painted in shades of salmon that hide the scars from cartel customers’ past.

Art Deco recreations of the club in the retired Queen Mary ocean liner and exterior shots of an ‘80s hotel in the City of Industry in east LA were used to film scenes at the Mutiny.

Where was Griselda filmed?

The three “Miami” mansions that feature in the series are 1920s and 1930s homes in southern California, including a house in Benedict Canyon in place of Blanco’s Palm Beach retreat. They grow in size and garish opulence as Blanco flaunts her evolving wealth.

Blanco’s three Miami mansions were filmed in southern California (COURTESY OF NETFLIX)
Blanco’s three Miami mansions were filmed in southern California (COURTESY OF NETFLIX)

In the first episode, the diner where Griselda meets Chucho is the retro Astro Family Restaurant in Silver Lake – previously the backdrop of a Gucci campaign featuring Lana Del Rey and Jared Leto – and most of the series’ unidentified motels span Long Beach and Redondo Beach in place of Miami’s golden swathes.

Elsewhere, the Dorothy Chandler penthouse at the Los Angeles Times Building sets the stage for drug lord Amilcar’s over-the-top apartment and Killingsworth House in Long Beach hosts Marta Ochoa’s Miami residence.

Dated red, olive and terracotta tones accent old-world sets (ELIZABETH MORRIS/NETFLIX)
Dated red, olive and terracotta tones accent old-world sets (ELIZABETH MORRIS/NETFLIX)

Cadillacs cruise to the Casa Oceana mansion in Long Beach for Griselda’s episode five party. And the setting for the famed Crown Liquors shoot-out of 1979? A transformed Sears department store in Cerritos.

Griselda is streaming on Netflix now.