Jason Strauss & Noah Tepperberg
“Everyone has their own contributions and together we have really been able to create some amazing venues.”
The legend of Noah Tepperberg and Jason Strauss in New York City nightlife lore has been well documented throughout the years. The business partners—best friends since high school—have been impresarios now for more than 15 years, beginning in the early 90s as event promoters. The dynamic duo has taken the party people of the world to Conscience Point in the Hamptons, Marquee in Chelsea, Tao and Lavo in Las Vegas, and now some of the hottest trendsetters in town are calling their newest venture, Avenue in New York, the hippest home away from home.
Haute Living: When did you first become interested in a career in the nightlife industry?
Noah Tepperberg: Age 16, when I threw the Stuyvesant High School cast party for Sing.
Jason Strauss: I was a bartender my senior year of high school on the Upper West Side.
HL: Who taught you the tricks of the trade in this industry?
NT: I learned from going to clubs and bars at an early age and observing what went on.
JS: We promoted and marketed bars throughout college and took a piece of knowledge from every owner/operator that we ever worked for.
HL: What type of crowd do your venues appeal to?
NT: All types, but to sum up in one word I’d say we have a very “cosmopolitan” crowd.
HL: The nightlife industry is always changing. How do you continually attract the attention of an A-list crowd?
NT: Programming great events, great music, and paying attention to the needs of the crowd when they are at our venues.
JS: It all starts with delivering amazing service and being true to a consistent experience, as well as being in tune with trends in music and the lifestyles of the target audience.
HL: There are so many choices for nightlife in NYC. Why should an Haute Living reader go to your venues?
JS: We pay attention to the needs of our customers more than anyone else. Period.
HL: Who is behind the designs of your venues?
JS: It is always a collaboration between myself, my partners, and whichever designer we choose. With Marquee, it was Steve Lewis; with Avenue, it was Lesly Zamor. Everyone has their own contributions and together we have really been able to create some amazing venues.
HL: Other than your own, what is your favorite club/lounge in the city? And around the world?
NT: Lucky Strike in New York, and Pacha in Ibiza.
JS: I’m a big fan of house music and I think both Pacha in New York and Pacha in Ibiza have some of the most talented DJs through their venues.
HL: What is the biggest/most exclusive event that you have hosted?
NT: The annual Jay-Z/LeBron James “Two Kings” event during the NBA All-Star Weekend.
JS: A Madonna concert after-party at the Tao lounge in Las Vegas. She and her dancers came after the concert with their VIP guests and actually performed four to five routines from the show.
HL: Where was the last place in New York that you went for fine dining?
NT: Tavern on the Green
JS: Danny Meyer’s new place, Maialino, inside the Gramercy Park Hotel.
HL: Tell us something about you that no one knows.
NT: I love to eat ice cream.
JS: I’m still very depressed that I never played college football.
HL: You never leave home without…
NT: My BlackBerry.
JS: Vitamins. I am very health conscious and always have them with me.
HL: Describe New York in three words:
NT: Home sweet home.
JS: “Only place to live.” Four words. Too bad!
HL: What’s your favorite pastime?
JS: Playing tennis (clay courts only), and skiing in Switzerland with my family.
HL: What are your predictions for 2010?
NT: I think the world is going to begin a financial recovery in 2010, but it will take five years to get back to where we were five years ago.
JS: In New York and Las Vegas, there will be a real resurgence and following for house music, even more than what we have seen in the last couple years. It’s translating more on the East and West Coasts and venues are becoming more privy to accommodate and cater to that.
HL: Tell us about the craziest moment that took place at one of your venues.
NT: The night that Jay-Z did a one-hour concert at Tao Las Vegas from 3 a.m. to 4 a.m.
JS: Every anniversary at Tao Las Vegas redefines the word crazy! Next year will be No. 5!