LA Power Players: They Love The Nightlife, Part I

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These impresarios are responsible for the coolest clubs, lounges and restaurants in Los Angeles. Find out how they got their starts in the industry, what they’re uniquely bringing to the L. A. scene and where—besides at their own spots—they love to party.

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WHO: Eugene Remm and Mark Birnbaum
THE COMPANY: EMM Group
THEIR ROLES: Co-owners
HOT SPOT: Catch L.A.

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Mark Birnbaum (left) and Eugene Remm

EUGENE REMM

 

How did you get your start in the hospitality industry?
I started in the mailroom at a fashion PR firm. I didn’t know anyone in the industry. Then, Rande and Scott Gerber gave me my first break working for their hospitality group, which was an amazing experience.

Did you ever imagine doing anything else? If so, what? 
I imagined many jobs, none of them good, but no one tells you that it’s possible to do what you love growing up.

What made you decide to bring your brand to L.A.?
The location spoke to us―and the weather is on point!

Can you describe your venue and its aesthetic? 
I would describe Catch L.A. as a having ‘modern classic’ aesthetic, which is my favorite term.  The venue looks like it’s been there for decades, but has modern touches throughout.

How would you describe Los Angeles’ current hospitality situation? 
I would say the L.A. hospitality landscape is unique. It has such a great mix of places that have been there for decades, and then a more recent movement of new restaurants and chefs that are pushing the boundaries in all different directions. It’s a very exciting time to be in this market.

What is your idea of the perfect night out? 
I’m not much for clubs these days, so it’s home for Netflix and chill with my wife after dinner.

Is there a formula to creating a successful venue that has longevity? 
Great food, great service, great vibe. I truly believe you need all three.

If you’re not working, where are you hanging out in L.A.? 
Unbreakable [Performance Center], Earthbar, Soho House, my apartment.

What is your greatest indulgence?
Carbohydrates in all forms.

MARK BIRNBAUM

How did you get your start in the hospitality industry?
My first taste of hospitality was throwing an after-party for my senior prom. During college, I ran a club in Ithaca Commons and [worked in promotion] over the summers for students.

Did you ever imagine doing anything else? If so, what?
I always wanted to be a veterinarian, but realized I didn’t want to study in the library that much.

What sets your L.A. location apart from your other venues?
The fact that Catch L.A. is all on the rooftop and not spread out over multiple floors is great!

How much were you involved in the decorating process?
My partner and I are extremely hands-on—from [the] beginning with drawings of layouts and mood boards to the final accessories we added to warm it all up before the doors opened.  The atmosphere is essential.  When our guests exit  the elevator onto our rooftop sanctuary, they immediately feel transported from the busy streets below to a ‘Garden of Eden’ with running water, open sky and a pergola constructed from vines and flowers.

How do you cater to your VIPs? 
We have a secret entrance and a VIP reservationist for regulars all over the world.

How would you describe L.A.’s current hospitality situation?
I’d describe it as ‘evolving.’  I think it’s been stagnant for a long time and is ripe for new everything—new hotels, restaurants, bars, clubs, big and small. It’s under-served, in my opinion.

Do you have a personal career achievement that you’re proudest of?
Yes! Getting Catch L.A. open from across the country—this process took over four years from lease-signing to now.  Then, years later, getting our 2 a.m. license here in L.A. was huge.

If you’re not working, where are you hanging out in L.A.?
Poolside at The Beverly Hills Hotel or Soho House in Malibu.

Outside of your own, what are your favorite restaurants/bars/clubs in the world?
Restaurants: Bar Pitti in NYC, Michelangelo in AntibesScorpios in Mykonos
Clubs: 1 OAK in L.A., White in Dubai, Rockwell in Miami
Bars: Bar and Books in NYC, Provocateur in NYC, No Name in L.A.

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WHO: Brent Bolthouse
THE COMPANY: Bolthouse Productions
HIS ROLE: CEO
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Brent Bolthouse

How did you get your start in the night life industry? 
I started nightclubs when I was 19 years old by accident, and the rest is history.

How hands-on are you with your brand?
I’m 1,000 percent involved in all details.

Did you ever imagine doing anything else? If so, what? 
I’d be a photographer for National Geographic.

Is it challenging or welcoming that other global nightlife destinations are now finally heading to Los Angeles?
Los Angeles has evolved into a world-class city, as far as nightlife and dining are concerned. I love it. I think it’s great.

How does your brand keep pushing the envelope? 
By continuing to expand and evolve,―looking at other locations in other cities.

What is your idea of the perfect night out? 
Going to dinner at Sushi Park and to the opera with my wife.

Do you have a personal career achievement that you’re proudest of?
I’m pretty proud of The Bungalow and lots of things I’ve done over the years.

How important are celebrities to your business?
In what I do currently, they are not important at all.

How do you cater to your VIPs?
We treat everyone like they are VIP at The Bungalow.

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The Bungalow Huntington Beach

How would you describe L.A. in three words or a phrase? 
Spread out.

How would you describe what you do in a phrase?   
I trust my higher self.

If you’re not working, where are you hanging out in L.A.? 
At my home with my beautiful wife.

Outside of your own, what are your three favorite nightlife venues in the world?
I really love Soho House in Malibu, I’m excited to see the new Tao in Los Angeles, and I really love Le Bain in Tokyo.

What is your greatest indulgence? 
Leica M cameras and lenses.

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