Marriott Getting Trendy in Waikiki?

You don’t usually mentally link Marriott hotels with Ian Schrager or high style. But, the reliable hotel chain is hoping to change that with a new brand of “lifestyle” hotels called EDITION. The first EDITION hotel is set to open on Waikiki Beach this fall, and the brand itself is part of a partnership between Marriott and Schrager—he of Studio 54 and boutique hotel fame, from the Delano in Miami to the Mondrian in Los Angeles. According to the EDITION press release, “The Brand will be about an attitude and the way it makes you feel rather than the way it looks. Sophisticated public spaces, finishes, design, and details will serve the experience, not drive it.” Yes, the world is turning upside down. What else does the Waikiki EDITION have in store?

It won’t feature the kiddie pools we’ve all come to expect from the Marriott. Instead, it’ll have a restaurant from Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, Surf and Bikini Boot Camps, a ginormous ballroom, and “an intimate Lobby Bar hidden behind a secret passage as if tucked away in a castle.” I don’t even know what to make of that last part. The press release also mentions “an exclusive Private Sunset Beach with its own lagoon and imported sand.” Judging from the hotel’s reported location—on the site of one of the towers of the former Ilikai Hotel, which is technically not on Waikiki Beach but on an adjacent inlet—and the fact that all real beaches on Oahu are technically public, the “Private Sunset Beach” might not be so private, but such is life in Waikiki. And, while the Morimoto restaurant sounds interesting, it’s worth noting that the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort, a traditional Marriott, not only has hordes of sticky children, it also has one of the best sushi restaurants on Waikiki: Sansei Sushi & Seafood. Shocking but true.

A second EDITION hotel will open in Istanbul later this year, with an ESPA spa (the same spa found at New York’s five-star Peninsula Hotel). There are also plans for EDITION properties in trendy locales like Mexico City, Barcelona, and Bangkok.

Art Mosh & the Hotel Club Renaissance

Amy Gunther of the Williamsburg North skateboard mecca KCDC asked me to do the door at the Art Mosh opening in West Chelsea last night. The event, promoted by PAPER magazine and uber-trendy watch company Nixon, attracted a Jane-worthy hipster crowd. It was pretty much a no-brainer until the space hit its legal capacity and a large crowd of equally important folks got stuck outside. Then it was 3 out, let 3 in, and I had to actually work … it’s been a long time since I had to work a door. Four PAPER interns were on hand to help, as was PAPER’s director of events Nicky Balestrieri. A hundred people were in the street and very few were leaving, as free booze and great music from cinematographer, filmmaker, and actor Shawn Regruto kept everybody happy. Oh yes, there was a great photography show as well. I controlled the crowd, whisked the super VIPs in as fast as allowed, and I thought of the problems over at the Jane and other hotspots where only a chosen few will ever get in.

Yesterday’s article dealt with the rise of hotel bars, restaurants, and clubs leading nightlife into its new golden era. I wrote about this era back when I started this blog with Joonbug about a year and a half ago. At that time, I thought Mansion, under Mark Baker’s direction, could lead the way. That of course didn’t turn out to be correct, as the infighting, egos, and complete miscalculation of his Miami Opium Group partners spelled disaster. The new era, however, did arrive. Nightlife rose from the boredom of the corporate bottle service dark ages into a new light led by the hotel joints. In yesterday’s comments, it was correctly pointed out that the relationship between hotels and their food and beverage wings has inherent problems. With the hotspots driving the hotels, it becomes unclear who is in the driver’s seat. Over at the Gramercy Park Hotel, the Rose Bar has been the hard-to-get-into “in spot” for three years. Nur Khan rules this roost but is in a constant give-and-take with hotel management over the rights of hotel guests to partake in the adventure. The hotel operator is of course Ian Schrager, who gained fame as the co -owner of impossible-to-get-into Studio 54. Hotel guests get some before-9pm privileges, and some are lucky enough to smell the roses later.

The wave of openings in the new hotels is attracting hordes of hipsters to the lobbies and of course rooms of these very in inns. The Standard leads the way, but even the Jane — a hotel where guests are told their bathrooms are “down the hall and to the right” — enjoys the crowds of the new downtown. Jane’s door, according to all accounts, is being overwhelmed. The neighbors are organizing, and this situation must right itself or everything there will just go wrong. Ian Schrager knows his clubs, and Eric Goode, who operated Area (probably the second-best joint of all time after Studio) also knows what’s up — as does his partner, the very sharp and experienced Sean MacPherson. André Balazs of the Standard and many other ultra-hip properties was a partner in Eric Goode’s MK on 5th Avenue, which certainly had a good run. His Mercer Hotel was to some extent driven by its food and beverage. SubMercer was for quite awhile the hotspot in town. I’m actually going there tonight to enjoy DJ Jennifly, one of the few DJs I actually follow.

As other hotel groups who have far less club experience enter the fray, A-list promoter types and owners will be hired to drive their hotels. The Donald is bringing Nicola Siervo and his Miami crew to drive his long-coming Trump Soho property, with hopes that they will fare better than the Opium Group. A regular old corner nightclub is saddled with far more core expenses than the hotels. The mom-and-pop operations like Marquee and 1Oak have to worry about insurance and rent and publicist costs, which the hotels can spread around. The hotel needs the restaurants if only for room service. And the hotels of course now salivate over the celebs, hipsters, and hotties whose milkshakes bring all the boys to the yard. The hotels have already started plucking the cream of the clubs crop to consult on their joints. The owners and promoters see the opportunity to expand their own brand and even export themselves to places like Vegas. Andrew Sassoon and Noah Tepperberg and Jason Strauss did it the hard way, but now it seems every Tom, Dick, and (well, you fill in that blank) will become the international superstar he sees in his bathroom mirror every morning. The hotels offer too many carrots to resist, and the drain of talent from the street-level boîtes will become torrential. The new era needs more talent, and it will be creative types that will fill the void. We are smack dab in the middle of an amazing new era of nightlife, and those who say otherwise must be the ones left waiting outside. I’ll be at the Jane after Jennifly.

No Room at Boom Boom for Promoters

Word comes to me that despite rumors offering every A-list promoter/owner in town the undeniably delicious Boom Boom Room at the Standard Hotel, that hotelier André Balazs and his crew will handle it in-house. A source tells me they were planning to close until mid-October now that Fashion Week is over. That date has been moved up to September 29. As for who is going to run the place, “Kamil Parchomienko will handle the room.” My insider says “Kamil used to live in Miami and LA … he’s worked for Andre for like 13 years. They want to do two seatings, 4-9 for small plates and 10-2/3 for late night. Super high-end Rainbow Room/Rose Bar/Windows on the World style $18-25 drinks and DP by the glass. They’re still working on the menu. They’ve got 4 managers, but no promoters. They’re going to rely heavily on Andre, the brand, and the space to keep it busy. $18-25 drinks will eventually wear people down, but the room is pretty nice.”

The bottle service era brought a new type of owner to clubland. The big boys on the block were Noah Tepperberg and Jason Strauss, with Marquee being the best joint in town for this sort of thing. Partnered with restaurant mogul Mark Packer, Marquee was the premiere club of its day and is still going strong. The success of Noah and Jason’s club. combined with their marketing company, Strategic Group, and their big Vegas move (with Mark and Rich Wolf) at Tao and Lavo created a strange sense of optimism among club promoter types. Noah and Jason’s rise from club promoters at places like Eugene’s, and with me at Life and Spa, told a generation of a personality club types that they too could become millionaire owners. Most don’t have a clue what it really takes.

Column after column, blog after blog lamented the rise of the bottle era, which was seen as squashing the more creative club world that preceded it. Bottles increased the gross considerably, but netting out a profit seemed elusive to many, or at least at the cost of all creativity. The clubs seemed boring. The sale of a bottle to a frat boy and his pals, or the comp bottle to the model promoter and his gaggle of girls, was a straight-up real estate deal. For club designers, squeezing as many tables as possible into a place became a major priority. Dance floors were reduced to conga lines. I and many others complained about the new owners. Most were business types with personalities not far removed from their bottle-buying clientele. Steve Rubell, Rudolf, Arthur Weinstein, and Peter Gatien — the flamboyant creatures of the night that owned and operated in the era before — had all moved on or up to a different unreality. All were businessmen, but all liked the spice of it and would have seriously hated letting some of the bottle buyers that became the new VIPs buy their way into their joints. Increased rents, skyrocketing insurance rates, ballooning DJ fees, more regulation, and larger legal fees and fines — all pressures of the new club world — have lessened the mayhem and of course the fun.

The city squeezed the clubs dry. Owners spent a great deal of time fighting to stay open as police raids and court appearances became routine. We all looked enviously at Las Vegas, where the city embraced its restaurant/club culture and every casino had to lure the best brands to make their own brand glow. Now the new boutique hotels popping up all over town are being branded as much by the clubs/restaurants/bars they hold as for their slick lobbies and rooms. Promoters are scrambling to find a room with an inspiring view and lots of guest rooms to feed their party. One of the other developments of the bottle era was the loss of the promoter who could actually bring in lots of people. These “numbers promoters” had either disappeared, or the ones that were left attracted crowds that were less than desirable. Hip hotels bring in lots of well-dressed and well-funded guests that fill the joints without the dreaded overpriced, bottle-gorging promoters.

The hotels for now will enjoy a grace period, as NYPD raids are far less frequent; the hotel industry comes with a different set of lobbyists, lawyers, and powerful friends. They are often part of a chain and their business appeal is considered stellar compared to the sleazy world of nightlife. Clubland doesn’t need a “district” — a redzone or strip like West 27th street or the Meatpacking District anymore. Clubs will live on the roofs and lobbies of hotels. How long before these stand-alone joints near desired real estate get booted as the city sees hotels with pre-engineered soundproofing and international status as the way to deal with “the nightclub problem”? In 10 years, will most or all new nightlife construction be in the hotels?

The new hotelier is a worldly figure. Owning a boutique hotel requires more savvy than the world of clubs has seen since Steve Rubell died and his partner, Ian Schrager, devoted his creative and business skills to … hotels. Ian invented this game, and he has always been the best at it, but he isn’t the newest right now — and all things being equal, new usually wins. According my sources, he’s two years away from another New York project. The new club owners are going to come from the top down, and rising through the ranks will be more difficult.

Photo: Patrick McMullan

Industry Insiders: Sandra Ardito, Giving the OK to KO

Sandra Ardito heads sales, marketing and special events for KO Hospitality Management (Cooper Square Hotel, Empire Hotel, Hotel on Rivington, and Chelsea Hotel in Atlantic City). We met the hospitality connoisseur at the Cooper Square Hotel to get the scoop on the Hamptons Memorial Day hotspot, the Reform Club Inn (suites and private cottages in Amagansett), working for Ian Schrager, and why we should stay at Cooper Square (besides the fact that it’s the location of the Bjork’s afterparty tonight).

Is this the first hotel KO has developed? No, we did the Empire Hotel on 63rd Street, and we did the Chelsea Hotel in Atlantic City for Paul Sevigny and Matt Abramcyk. For those hotels, I would describe us as the hired guns.

Who are the other members of the KO team? Klaus Ortlieb, Yana Yevinson, Meg Burnie, Manuela Kolb, and Annie Ohayon.

How’d you get here? I was the director of special events at Chanterelle. Budgets were $250,000 to a million back then. And while there, I moonlighted by helping people open their restaurants. I opened the Harrison with owner Jimmy Bradley. I met some amazing people, like Joey Campanaro from Little Owl. I was Jason and Jen’s investor at ‘ino on Bedford street. Eventually, Meg Burnie brought me into meet Klaus at the Hotel on Rivington. That’s when I left Chanterelle. My first event at the Rivington was Timothy Greenfield Sander’s XXX Book. Bill Dye called me to be part of Gramercy Park Hotel with Ian Schrager. We opened with the Marc Jacobs party on September 11, 2006, after working for months nonstop. I shadowed Ian for the two nights before we opened the hotel. He had receptions for all of his friends and was surprised at how I knew them. He said, “You are the girl, you are going to do this.” It was like a love letter. And he trained me and nurtured me into this role. Finally, Klaus started KO Hospitality Management about a year and a half ago and asked me if I wanted to be a partner. It was very hard to leave Ian. At KO, we work with owners and developers from ground-up construction. We attaché the restaurant, the architect, the interior designer, and conceptualize the entire project.

Something unique about Cooper Square Hotel? Every book in the Cooper Square hotel was picked through Housing Works, which is a charity for AIDS victims. People can purchase the books and the money will go to the charity. Klaus is a seasoned professional who only takes on projects he believes in. He worked with Andre Balazs and Ian Schrager for years. He wanted the experience at Cooper Square to be completely different, that’s why there’s no reception desk. There’s a lobby host who shows you to your room. It’s about personal attention. Klaus sat on 575 chairs until he choose what he felt was the right one. We’re also building a screening room on the second floor. There’s an indoor/outdoor bar on the second floor as well, and a 3,000-square-foot terrace.

What is your specific contribution? The total experience here. I hand-picked the staff. What Ian and Klaus have given me, I hope to give to someone else.

What’s the next project? We are helicoptering to the Reform Club Inn in Amagansett to get ready to open for Memorial Day weekend.

What music do you listen to? Rock ‘n roll — Iggy Pop, The Raconteurs, Jane’s Addiction.

Favorite artist? Radek Szczesny.

Favorite restaurants? ‘inoteca, Little Owl, and James in Brooklyn

Favorite bar? Royal Oak in Williamsburg, Madame Geneva in the Double Crown and Bowery Electric.

Favorite hotel? East Deck in Montauk for a retro motel and The Crillion in Paris for high-end.

Who do you admire in the business? I grew up reading about Ian Schrager and then had the pleasure of working for him. He hired me to be his director of special events. The man who started the party is looking at me and letting me see his vision. It’s an honor and the best compliment. I also admire Klaus Ortlieb for his loyalty, compassion, and integrity, and Nur Khan for the incredible way he takes care of people

Who do you feel does it right? Joe and Jason Denton of ‘inoteca and Lupa

What’s something people don’t know about you? I’m an avid gardener and spend all my money on plants for my roof deck that I made totally grassroots style with my boyfriend.

What are you doing tonight? Going to Bjork’s concert at Housing Works and then to her after party at Cooper Square Hotel.

Photo: Mike Mabes

Industry Insiders: Rob McKinley, Good as Gold

Rob McKinley — part of the team responsible for hotspots GoldBar, Cain Luxe, and Surf Lodge — began his design-oriented career behind the scenes at fashion house heavy-hitters Tommy Hilfiger, Donna Karan, and Giorgio Armani. After a shift into nightlife, the GoldBar concept stemmed from McKinley’s fictional idea of a European count obsessed with anything and everything gold. The golden boy met with us to discuss keeping his bar alive, the fall of the Meatpacking District, and those guys across the street at Southside.

How did GoldBar come about? My partner told me about the space, and I told him that I had a concept which would work really well. For me, creatively, the idea was to create a bar inspired by some of the grand hotels in Europe — Paris and Rome — but without the hotel. I wanted it to have the old-fashioned, traditional style of service and the formality of those bars and then almost poke fun at it and make it overly decadent. It came into being when we picked the space and we had gold leaf everything as soon as you walked through the door. The skulls were inspired by the catacombs in Paris. Little by little, it came together while working with all the different artisans, fellow workers, and artists.

Do you worry that GoldBar will lose its coolness factor? Luckily, we have a pretty cool crowd which has been mostly consistent. It has to do with the style of our service. Bottle service isn’t required. It’s all about the cocktails and the unique design. Even though the bar is over the top, it’s not just a trend, and I think it can stand on its own two feet. It’s also about the music. All the music we play has deep roots.

What do you think in terms of longevity? Even thought this is a nightclub, if people ask me what I do, I say I’m a designer, and I have a bar and a hotel. We pride ourselves on our cocktails. Those bartenders behind there are serious business. We want to be here for 10 years, for 15 years. We want it to become a good, solid place where people will always be able to have a drink and listen to good music.

How do you keep it innovative? We change the drinks every season, and we have great bartenders. They really know their game. Quality is a big part of what we do. My partners and I are all on the same page when it comes to that, and there’s a lot of attention to quality and detail. We have all fresh-squeezed juices, and the ice is all hand-cracked everyday. And yes, I oversee all the music. That’s something that we have to constantly question ourselves, but luckily all of our DJs are really brilliant, and a lot of them are musicians.

What are your busiest nights? Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. On Sunday, there is a younger, sort of rock hip-hop vibe.

What’s your relationship like with your partners Jamie Mullholland and Jayma Cardosa? I think we’re all a little bit nuts in the best way possible. We all get a kick out of each other, and we respect each other within the realm of our business. I think that’s the most important thing. We’re all very good at what we do.

Who does what? I handle all of the creative stuff, which consists of the musical direction, any invitations we need to do, and obviously the decor and lighting. Sometimes even the garnishes for the drinks. I go nuts for the small details: olives, incense. I’m a freak about the specific French incense that needs to be here all the time. I do the graphic design and the uniform design for GoldBar, Cain Luxe, and Surf Lodge. Jamie does the operational stuff, and Jayma is great at getting people here, being front of house and the host.

Any quibbles during the process? Always. If we didn’t, then something would be wrong. I probably get nagged about money the most. Jamie is always telling me to watch the money, but ‘m the designer, and I like things a particular way. They’ll ask me, “How much is the incense again?” We always manage to figure it out in the end.

Do you have any formal training in design? No, not at all. It’s just something that I love to do. I always ask my assistant (a graduate of Parson’s school of design) questions about how you’re really supposed to present and format things. Let’s just say I always find my own way to do things.

Besides your own places, where do you hang out? I’ve been going to Café Select a lot recently. I like the food, and I love the coffee. The little bar at the back is really great as well and kind of a little getaway. The music is really great. Sant Ambroeus in the West Village is one of my haunts. It’s a great café for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with excellent food, great coffee, and great desserts. There are really interesting people there all the time from all walks of life. Do the Meatpacking clubs, including Cain Luxe, have any hope of redemption from the bridge and tunnel crowds? Bridge and tunnel isn’t so bad. I’m bridge and tunnel deep down inside and always will be. When I was 16 and 17 years old, I was going to clubs in the city. It was just a different attitude then. We were going where the music was great and where the people were fun. And then it became a lot more velvet rope, and there were different requirements to get in. It still can be very good, and a lot of people will go. If it’s a good party, it’s a good party. Best GoldBar night? I remember one night we had nine different DJs in the DJ booth. We had two DJs on that night, and the rest came as guests. We all knew each other, and we were just going song for song. It was myself, DJ Kiss, Chris Liggio, DJ Cassidy, DJ Nice, DJ Ruckus, Tony Touch, MOS, and Damon DeGraff. The rule was: only one song. So, it was really tough because one song is your bridge to the next song, but we just had to keep it in that same vein all night. We also did an amazing masquerade party here with free-flowing Dom Perignon. The invites were these really beautiful boxes with hand-painted Venetian masks. How does Southside fare as competition? It’s cool. I was at Southside the other night. I think it’s like anything else. I had a good time. Music was good. We’re two different things.

Favorite celebs to step foot in GoldBar? A bunch of them, but we won’t talk about them. It was a great honor for them to be here, but what’s even more of an honor is when they come back. Ian Schrager was here a bunch of times, and that was a big deal for me — being a designer and him being the Studio 54 guy — and all. Lenny Kravitz comes a lot, and the only reason I can say this is because he wrote a song about GoldBar for his last album called “Dancin’ Til Dawn.” Giorgio Armani came one night, and that was big for me because I used to work for him.

What’s your dream venue? I want to do a resort similar to Surf Lodge but in the mountains. Snow Lodge, if you will. I would love to do a spa someday. A super-duper spa inspired by some of the natural springs and baths of Italy and Scandinavia.

Who’s your dream guest? I’d love to have any one of the Rolling Stones here. Or have Stevie Wonder put a piano smack dab in the middle of the room and play all night long.

Photo: Joe Termini

Industry Insiders: Avi Brosh, Hip Hotelier

Having made a name for himself as a developer, Avi Brosh found a hole to fill in hospitality, responding with his hyper-cool West Hollywood hotel Palihouse and succeeding where none had before in making LAX-adjacent Westchester hop with his Custom Hotel. This creative spirit expands on his years of hard work, present trials and travels, and dreams for the future.

Where do you hang out? I go to The Hall Courtyard Brasserie at Palihouse Holloway. It has the absolute best vibe and crowd in LA. I also love the street Abbot Kinney in Venice Beach, where there are several great neighborhood restaurants and bars I go to frequently. I’m in New York at least five to ten days a month, and every time I’m there I always seem to manage my way, at some point, to this gorgeous little bar in Tribeca called Smith & Mills. I love that place, but they only take cash — which I pretty much never have on me — so I’m always bumming drinks from whomever I’m there with.

Who in your business do you admire? I vividly remember walking into the lobby of the Paramount Hotel in New York City in 1990 and my jaw literally dropping. I’d never seen a place — not to mention a hotel — like that before. The early Philippe Starck-Ian Schrager collaborations completely changed the hotel landscape, so I have a very high regard for them for doing that. In addition, I would add that I have a tremendous amount of respect for just about anyone who has the courage, audacity, and wherewithal to actually develop unique buildings and/or open independent hotels, because I know firsthand how unbelievably difficult that is to do.

What do you like in the hospitality industry these days? Authenticity is the positive trend for just about everything relating to travel and lodging. When people travel these days, they want to see people just as much as they want to see places. At the core of this attitude is a desire to stylishly — and cost-effectively — experience destinations all that much more authentically through the eyes of a local.

Anything you dislike? I think the whole notion of gigantic, corporate hotel companies and chains trying to manufacture cool, boutique, sub-brands is kind of bogus. It’s the complete opposite of the notion of authentic.

What don’t we know about you? People who don’t know me seem to have this perception that, as a fairly well-known developer and now hotelier, I might be loud or flashy, but I’m actually rather reserved and private.

Your hotels always have good music in the air. What is your all-time favorite album? I’m into bands like Hot Chip, Cut Copy, Yelle, and LCD Soundsystem. If I had to single out one all-time favorite album, I’d have to pick My Aim is True by Elvis Costello. In terms of sense of style in music, I think Pharell Williams is by far the coolest.

What do your future plans involve? To make it through this nasty recession as unscathed as possible. We currently have projects in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, and New York City. My number-one focus is to continue to carefully and stylishly grow the “by Palisades” residential brands and the Palihouse and Palihouse spin-off hospitality brands in the best locations in the best cities in the United States and Canada, and then around the world.

Industry Insiders: Alan Philips & Josh Shames of Sky Group

Alan Philips and Josh Shames are founders of SKY Group and Deluxe Experience. Their clients include One Group (STK), Gerber Group (Whiskey Bar), Morgans Hotel Group (Hudson, Royalton, The Shore Club), Borgata Hotel, Brier Group (Highbar) … the list goes on.

What are your favorite places in the world? Alan Philips: Sushi of Gari. They have the freshest fish, simply and creatively prepared, in understated surroundings. I don’t think that there is anywhere you can experience something as delicious and unexpected as the salmon tomato onion sushi. Bagatelle has incredible energy and music, very New York. I recently had the pleasure of staying and experiencing the newest Morgans Hotel in Miami, Mondrian Miami. Marcel Wanders has designed a spectacular hotel that captures the surprise and whimsy that you first felt when entering the Delano 20 years ago. Josh Shames: The Box is an amazing New York experience, and I’ve never felt the energy from a nightclub that I have felt at Palladium in Acapulco, Mexico. 2000-plus people, with floor-to-ceiling glass walls over looking the Acapulco bay. As for restaurants, the China Club in Hong Kong or Il Latini in Florence, Italy, are the two of my favorite dining experiences. If I had a last meal, then it would be Don Pepe’s in Ozone Park.

Who do you admire in your industry? AP: Ian Schrager has continued to innovate for decades and maintain an individual point of view. The amount of time, energy, and commitment to your vision it takes to do what he has done is incredible. Imagine having Studio 54, Morgans Hotel Group, Palladium, Gramercy Park, and now this partnership with Marriot on your resume. Nobu Matsuhisa — he did not just create a restaurant, he created a whole other cuisine. Then he opened tons of locations that never sacrifice the quality of product. And just when you thought he was done, he kept creating new and intoxicating dishes that never cease to amaze. JS: Its cliché, but you have to mention Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager as they changed New York nightlife and the hospitality industry forever. No matter what has been done since, it has all been an extension of what they accomplished years before.

What are some positive trends that you’ve seen recently in your industry? AP: I like that people have been offering more inclusive experiences. Jamie Mulholland and his team did it this year at Surf Lodge. The vision and customer experience is all-encompassing from beginning to end. The restaurant, the bar, the hotel — it all goes together and is fabulous. I believe that customers want more for their hospitality dollar, and in this economic environment, they won’t mind spending money, but the quality and excitement better be there. I don’t think there will be tolerance for products that are sub-par. Additionally, I am excited about things moving away from bottle service. I like table minimums, and I believe that this will force operators to be more creative. Great ideas come out of necessity. JS: For a while, people thought that if they opened a nightclub or lounge and put a door person outside behind ropes, their place would be filled and generate revenue. I believe people have wised up since then. Operators, owners, and investors are starting to be more creative with their venues and concepts than they were five years ago

What is something that people might not know about you? AP: I love to cook. When the family gets together, my job is to cook. JS: I am left-handed and I go to every Broadway show.

What are your staples? AP: Books are Wolf of Wall Street, Good to Great, and Outliers. Artist is Da Vinci. City is New York to live and Miami to visit. JS: Destinations are Florence, Italy, and Aruba to relax. Politicians are Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.

What are you doing tonight? AP: Going to Nobu 57; I’ve been obsessed with Dover sole tempura since I got back from Miami. Then Ella to hear Brooklyn Dawn spin. JS: I never make plans that far in advance.

What is your guiltiest pleasure? AP: DVR. My girlfriend and I watch way too many shows. Lost, Sopranos, 24, Big Love, Californication, Gossip Girl, Weeds, Brothers and Sisters. Okay, this is getting embarrassing. JS: My Blackberry.

Drink of choice? AP: Patron Silver on the rocks with two limes. JS: Iced coffee in the mornings, diet raspberry Snapple during the day, and anything with ice in it at night.

Person you’re dying to party with? AP: My mom. JS: Myself. I’m always so concerned with everyone else’s experience, I forget what its like to have a good time.

What’s next in ’09? We’re developing a new web-based project called Deluxe Experiences that will launch in early 2009. I have been working on it for a year, and we are really looking forward to seeing it come to life. We are also managing an artist Brooklyn Dawn — she is a super-talented female DJ whose energy, skills, and sound are something totally different in the downtown scene. Everything she does is so genuine and exciting. Also, began a new area of our business focused on servicing our lifestyle clients and synergizing them with our hospitality clients. 2009 is going to be a very interesting year in the hospitality business, as people are definitely going to have to find new ways to make money.

Industry Insiders: Jeffrey Beers, Resto-Architect

Jeffrey Beers, the creative mind behind Bostonian restaurant tour de force Bond, on his many passions, pacing department stores, and the differences between New York and Dubai.

How would you describe yourself? I’m a passionate and intense artist. I’m an architect by training, but I’m also a glassblower. My interest is in the arts and painting in general. When I was in architecture school at RISD, I met Dale Chihuly, the glass blower. I became a glass blower under him as I was studying architecture. I had exposure to the world of glass art and all sorts of very talented artisans which made a huge difference in my perceptions as an architect. Glass blowing is all about form and balance — being able to balance volumes and explore forms from a strict architectural sense to a fluid sense. So glass blowing allowed me to really explore form and color and things that were impossible to study on paper. The only way to physically draw these things was on paper. It taught me so much.

What are some places you like going to eat and hang out? Well, I enjoy all food. I go everywhere. I go from the Four Seasons to Pastis. I would also like to go to Above Allen. In Monte Carlo, Jimmy’z is one of my favorite clubs in the world. I like the energy and the way the club is designed. It’s extremely stimulating. It’s a fantastic nightclub, very theatrical.

What are some of your favorite spaces you’ve designed yourself? Well, I would probably have to say the Cove. The Cove Hotel at the Atlantis in Nassau in Paradise Island. It’s a hotel project as well as an indoor/outdoor project.

How did you design it? With a bit of Southeastern, South Asian feel. There’s lots of teakwood and French limestone. It’s a very interesting melding of nature and architecture. There are water elements and floral with lots of natural elements that weave in and out of the property. The Fontainebleau in Miami Beach is also one of my favorites. We just opened that last year. It was amazing to be able to work on a project by architect Morris Lapidus.

As an architect, how is your experience different when you’re designing for different countries? It certainly makes a difference because cultures are different. When I design a restaurant or club, I have to very mindful of who the guest is going to be. The guests in New York are very different from the guests in Bombay. I have to pay quite a bit of attention to what part of the world I’m in. I recently opened a very big nightclub in Dubai. There are things I did in Dubai which I wouldn’t do in New York.

For example? Half the club in Dubai is outdoors. There are more private and VIP areas in Dubai than in a club in New York.

Tell me about Bond. How was working on that? Bond turned out beautifully. It’s a grand space. The ceilings are 25 feet high. The room was a very prestigious bank in Boston. I came in with a lot of modern wood work techniques and metal. We brought a certain glamor to it. People want to dress up a bit and primp before you come to Bond. I’m also very happy with the lighting. Everyone looks like they’re a movie star. It’s a major hit in Boston. They’re off the charts. They’ve got 150 people waiting outside every night.

Who do you admire in your industry? I’ve always been a big fan of Ian Schrager. Ian has done really well, starting with Studio 54, back in the seventies, and through the nineties with the Morgan’s hotel properties, the Mandarin, the Delano. I think Ian Schrager’s just been a remarkable person in the hotel business. I think that the owner of the Four Season’s, Izzy Sharp, is another one. He’s just a remarkable leader in the hospitality industry. Keith McNally has done remarkable things with Pastis and Balthazar and Café Luxembourg and The Odeon.

What is something people might not know about you? Probably that I’m a space cadet and I wander Bloomingdale’s or Macy’s for ideas.

Do you get lots of ideas that way? I do … it’s sort of more of a distraction. I wander crowded places like Grand Central Station. It somehow removes me from the present and lets my mind completely wander. I need chaos in order to think.

Any projects in the works right now? We’re busy with the Fontainebleau in Las Vegas. It’s going to open the end of December this year. Then there is this big night club in Morocco called Sanctuary.

Industry Insiders: Cedric Adegnika, Jet Setter

Cedric Adegnika, the doorman and VIP host at Set, brings fame to clubs, sees the future, then does downward facing dog.

How would you describe your profession? My job is to bring fame to night clubs.

Which establishments do you frequent? Sardinia. It’s an Italian restaurant whose most important aspect is the ambiance and the home-like feeling, plus customized service and of course good, healthy food. Vita, a restaurant/lounge with great service and a friendly, warm atmosphere. A place where you can have dinner and stay to have drinks and party till the end of the night. And Set has the best-looking crowd and European jet-setters.

Anyone you admire in the hospitality industry? Ian Schrager, the founder of Morgans Group. He’s the man who introduced boutique hotels, making it a huge hit. Starting as a nightclub owner, he was able to take risks and start something new and make it a growing trend. Also, Roberto Caan, Mynt Lounge/Rok Bar founder (Miami Beach). He was not afraid to do things against the norm. Huge risk-taker and a man who constantly invented new ideas. A true visionary.

What positive trends are you seeing in hospitality? People are willing to spend more money on entertainment perceived as prestigious. The reason why I like it is because it shows that we’ve achieved the perception we’ve worked towards.

And negative trends?The level of service versus the prices is declining.

What is one thing that people don’t know about you? I have a clear vision of what my life will be like years from now.

What are you doing tonight? First I am going to yoga, and after I will have dinner at one of my favorite Italian restaurants in the company of an intelligent, beautiful woman.