Tuesday, 3 April 2012
MARK BIRNBAUM – PARTNER, EMM GROUP
Mark Birnbaum, partner of EMM Group, has played a major role in transforming New York City’s Meatpacking District into one of the most sought after areas in the city. Dubbed by Forbes magazine as one of the “New Kings of New York Nightlife, ” he along with partners Eugene Remm and Michael Hirtenstein have created a number of successful restaurants and nightlife venues with a winning combination of atmosphere, entertainment, top-quality service and sophistication.
In the past six years Birnbaum and his partners have built a strong venue portfolio and a solid reputation as leaders in the hospitality industry, organizing several hundred events and developing the company into a multi-faceted hub for successful venue ownership and operation. With the opening of Tenjune (2006), named in honor of his and Remm’s June 10th birthday, the pair was quickly recognized for their ability to reinvent the status quo, filling the room night after night with guests eager for a new experience. Tenjune boasted a never-before-seen layout, a rotation of up-and-coming DJ talent and surprise performances on a nightly basis, giving the venue instant yet long-lasting appeal.
Birnbaum’s next venture extended the EMM Group formula for new, trend-setting hospitality and lifestyle projects across the Hudson into their first hotel venture, The Chandelier Room at the W Hoboken (2008), which boasts spectacular indoor – outdoor views of the New York City skyline.
Identifying a need for establishments that could offer multiple experiences within the same property, Birnbaum and his partners opened their first restaurant, a steakhouse concept called Abe & Arthur’s (2009), which Zagat called an “instant success”. Right next door, they opened doors to SL (2009), a highly anticipated subterranean lounge on 14th Street just two blocks shy of Tenjune, providing a one-two punch in dining and entertainment.
Birnbaum and his partners expanded eastward, taking over the coveted lease of a landmark East Hampton property, transforming it into a Manhattan-worthy luxury nightclub, aptly named SL East (2011).
This past Fall EMM Group debuted Lexington Brass (2011), a New American brasserie located on the ground level of a new luxury Hyatt hotel in Midtown Manhattan. In the same month, Birnbaum and his partners opened CATCH (2011), a multi-level seafood restaurant in the heart of the Meatpacking district, helmed by Executive Chef, Top Chef season 3 winner, Hung Huynh. The restaurant boasts over 260-seats and includes a glass enclosed rooftop lounge, CATCH Roof (2011).
In the upcoming months Birnbaum, along with Remm and Hirtenstein, are taking the CATCH concept and heading to the Miami market, opening a second location of the widely popular seafood restaurant in South Beach at the James Hotel. They will also be opening a yet-to-be-named nightclub at the hotel that will be sure to attract the same stars and revelers that frequent EMM Group’s New York outposts.
Looking ahead, EMM Group is expanding its New York portfolio with the most ambitious project to date, opening a 19,000-square foot location on New York’s historical Bowery that will house a number of different concepts, including the possibility of a bakery, restaurant, live music venue and lounge. The new property is expected to open in November 2012.
With over 700 employees on the EMM Group roster, Birnbaum and his partners continue to expand and infuse innovative energy into an ever-changing industry, pioneering multi-faceted hospitality experiences while working to maintain a balance between the operational and promotional principles in which the company was founded. Mark Birnbaum lives in the Meatpacking District and is actively involved in charitable organizations including the Meatpacking District Initiative, Kids for Tomorrow, the John Varvatos Stuart House Benefit