Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 59

interview: richard wolf
By Stacy Shoemaker Rauen

perspectives

king of clubs
Richard Wolf has had a busy year. In September, he and his TAO Group partners Marc Packer, Jason Strauss, and Noah Tepperberg brought their successful Las Vegas restaurant and nightclub LAVO to New York, housed in a space directly across the street from the original TAO. Then on New Year’s Eve, they transported über-successful New York nightclub Marquee to the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and added a pool dayclub component for a total of 60,000 square feet. Last month they opened multiple new venues in the much-anticipated Dream Downtown in New York from Hampshire Hotels & Resorts and Wyndham. The highlight—a rooftop lounge with heady city views. But that wasn’t enough for Wolf. With his other set of partners, Chris Santos and Peter Kane, he opened the sequel to Stanton Social, restaurant and lounge Beauty & Essex on New York’s Lower East Side, just a few weeks before Marquee opened. He took time from his hectic schedule to discuss the importance of creating wows and moments, how copying can be a cop-out, and his famous red wine test. HD: Why did you want to bring LAVO to New York? A location across the street from TAO is kind of serendipitous since both TAO and LAVO in Las Vegas are in the same hotel complex. RW: Typically, restaurants and clubs in Vegas start somewhere else—LA, New Orleans, Chicago, New York—and then they open in Vegas. It’s rare that it’s the other way around. The thing about Vegas is that everything is kind of fake. We’re all from New York, every one of us. So we feel that when we do something in Vegas, what Vegas really needs is authentic New York. LAVO Las Vegas’ design is more downtown New York than most other places in town, with the exception of maybe TAO. And it just really seemed like a natural. We started in Vegas, now let’s break the mold and do the reverse. We always knew that opening a LAVO in New York would give a shot in the arm to Las Vegas, and there would be some great synergy. When we opened up TAO Las Vegas, TAO New York spiked 20 percent in sales. HD: Was that the same reason to bring Marquee to Las Vegas? RW: Let’s just say that in the last 10 to 12 years in New York HD: Beauty & Essex was opening in New York in the middle of all this, with your other partners, Chris Santos and Peter Kane. You’ve got Stanton Social around the corner, which is extremely successful. Was this to build on that success? RW: That’s exactly what that was. Time Café was my first restaurant, club/lounge, performance space, and Peter was the manager of Fez in Time Café. And Chris was at the time the sous chef, and eventually became the executive chef. I left to open Angelo & Maxie’s in ’96; sold my shares in Time Café in ’98, but we remained friends. I called him them up one day and I said point blank, ‘I think we should do a restaurant together, the three of there’s been two top clubs. Lotus was the first, and then Marquee. So to achieve that status, to own the hottest nightclub in New York for roughly seven years, which is forever in club years, [is impressive]; it’s equivalent to a 25year run. And while there’s really no club in the history of New York that has ever just gone on and on, it just seemed like the perfect brand, for lack of a better way to say it. The first time it got mentioned, Marc, myself, Noah, and Jason went out to dinner with the CEO, CFO, and general manager of the Cosmopolitan. It’s the first time somebody said, ‘What about Marquee?’ I think Noah said it. And John Unwin, the CEO, is like, ‘I love the idea of Marquee.’ And we all just thought, ‘Oh, wow, it’s time for the next incarnation of Marquee.’ Because to see a brand like Marquee just go off into the sunset and never to be heard from again was a bit of a crime. Like Lotus is gone. It had its run, it had its day, and now it’s gone. Marquee lives on.

Above: One of the many rooms at Marquee Nightclub & Dayclub at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Right: The main dance floor at LAVO New York.

www.hospitalitydesign.com

July 2011

59


http://www.hospitalitydesign.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Hospitality Design - July 2011

Hospitality Design - July 2011
Contents
Online Contents
From the Editor
From the Show Director
People
People
People
Sketchbook
Interview
Interview
Interview
Profile
IIDA/HD Awards
Tabletops
It’s All Relative
Back Space
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - Hospitality Design - July 2011
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - Cover2
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 1
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 2
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 3
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 4
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 5
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 6
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 7
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 8
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - Contents
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 10
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - Online Contents
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 12
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 13
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 14
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 15
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - From the Editor
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 17
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - From the Show Director
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 19
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 20
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 21
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 22
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 23
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - People
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 25
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 26
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 27
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 28
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 29
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 30
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 31
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - People
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 33
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 34
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 35
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 36
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 37
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 38
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 39
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - People
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 41
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 42
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 43
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 44
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 45
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 46
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 47
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 48
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - Sketchbook
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 50
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 51
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 52
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 53
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 54
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 55
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 56
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 57
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 58
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - Interview
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 60
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 61
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 62
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 63
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 64
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 65
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 66
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 67
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 68
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - Interview
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 70
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 71
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 72
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 73
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 74
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 75
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - Interview
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 77
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 78
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 79
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 80
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 81
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 82
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - Profile
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 84
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - IIDA/HD Awards
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 86
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 87
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 88
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 89
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 90
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 91
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 92
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 93
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 94
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 95
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 96
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - Tabletops
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 98
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 99
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 100
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - It’s All Relative
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 102
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 103
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 104
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 105
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 106
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 107
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 108
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 109
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 110
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 111
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 112
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 113
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 114
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 115
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 116
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 117
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 118
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 119
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - Back Space
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - Cover3
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - Cover4
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/hd/201805
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/hd/201803
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/hd/201802
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/hd/201801
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/hd/201712
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/hd/201711
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/hd/201710
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/hd/201709
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/hd/201708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/hd/201707
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/hd/201706
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/hd/201705
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/hd/20170304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/hd/201702
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/hd/201701
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/hd/201612
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/hd/201611
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/hd/201610
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/hd/201609
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/hd/201608
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/hd/201607
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/hd/201606
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/hd/201605
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/hd/20160304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/hd/20160102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/hd/201512
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/hd/201511
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/hd/201510
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/hd/201509
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/hd/201508
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/hd/201507
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/hd/201506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/hd/expo2015_showguide
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/hd/201505
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/hd/20150304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/hd/20150102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/hd/201412
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/hd/201411
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/hd/201410
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/hd/201409
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/hd/201408
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/hd/201407
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/hd/201406
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/hd/20140506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/hd/expo2014_showguide
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/hd/20140304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/hd/20140102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/hd_201312
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/hd_201311
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/hd_201310
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/hd_201309
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/hd_201308
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/hd_201307
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/hd_201306
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/hd_201305
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/hd_20130304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/hd_20130102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/hd_201212
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/hd_201211
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/hd_201210
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/hd_201209
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/hd_201208
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/hd_201207
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/hd_20120506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/hd_201204
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/hd_201203
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/hd_20120102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/hd_201112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/hd_201111
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/hd_201110
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/hd_201109
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/hd_201108
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/hd_201107
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/hd_20110506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/hd_201104
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/hd_201103
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/hd_20110102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/hd_20101112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/hd_201010
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/hd_201009
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/hd_201008
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/hd_201007
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/hd_20100506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/hd_201004
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/hd_201003
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/hd_201001
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/hd_200912
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/hd_200911
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/hd_200910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/hd_200909
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/hd_200908
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/hd_200907
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/hd_20090506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/hd_200904
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com