What’s On My Desk: EMM Group Co-Founder Mark Birnbaum

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EMM Group co-founder Mark Birnbaum has played a major role in transforming New York City’s Meatpacking District into one of the most sought after areas in the city. Along with partner Eugene Remm, Birnbaum identified the need for establishments that offer multiple experiences within the same property, and so, found a synergy between restaurants and nightlife, opening venues in numerous markets that create seamless transitions between dining and entertainment. They are seeking west coast coast domination with their newly opened hotspot, Catch LA (as well as global domination given that Catch not only has restaurants in New York, but in Dubai and Playa del Carmen as well). Birnbaum is currently putting all of his focus on Catch LA, which is why his desk is slightly more unusual than most: most days, he tends to work from the restaurant itself. Here, this nightlife guru shares a peek at his ‘desktop’ essentials.


  • It consists of food to try for either specials we’re considering running that week like the whole branzino with clams and tomatoes or new additions to the menu like the bagel and lox spread for brunch… also above I was trying the new vegan option a mushroom taco in a blue corn gluten free shell.
  • Since this is LA, I always need my Tom Ford sunglasses and my tennis racquet because you never know when a friend wants to hit balls next door!
  • My new obsession is backgammon and my set is always with me. It’s very competitive and a great way to take a break between meetings and enjoy this winter weather on the roof!
  • With regards to the menu, I’m reviewing it to make sure we printed it perfectly today!
  • Today I was also setting up a tasting of three new drinks we’re playing with. One in each category. Today one was with an Elyx vodka base, a Casamigos tequila base and a new whiskey called The Hilhaven Lodge… very smooth!
  • Last but most important is my iPhone 7..it’s my computer. I’m on it all day and night reviewing issues/sales reports/PR/customer relations/new deal opportunities and of course reservations from Los Angeles to New York to Playa Del Carmen to Dubai.