NiteTalk: Matt Levine of The Eldridge Says Venue Isn't “Game-Changing”

Niteside scored a moment with Hamptons-hopping entrepreneur Matt Levine to discuss why he’ll never leave the Lower East Side, if there’s another Manhattan club coming soon and why he quit Twitter.

What issues do you have with New York nightlife right now? Lack of creativity. They bring the same DJs, same promoters just into different venues. Personally, I would honestly rather make a cocktail in my apartment, throw on a DJ Equal mix or Silver Medallion CD.

What are your thoughts on restaurants and clubs that openly Tweet who's there? We live in an age of Social Media and Twitter is a great resource and tool. It is very important for many professions to promote their brands and lifestyle, but as a club owner I believe people go out at night to escape their reality. To achieve a level of privacy. I think that clubs and restaurants that openly tweet who’s there are potentially losing that customer, especially a celebrity one. I personally quit Twitter because as cliché’ as this sounds, every person should be a leader, not a follower.

Share a crazy night at The Eldridge that happened recently. Most recently, we had the Night Kids spin at The Eldridge. Their energy and enthusiasm towards the music they played and their original beats kept our guests going all night. I think the party was going until 4 a.m. We’re talking constant entertainment with no down time and no break in the consistency and levels of music. The build-up from song to song was not only impressive but contagious.

What’s coming up next for The Eldrige? Coming up in August, we are celebrating Tour de Force -- a month of good
music -- having a diverse and mixed genre of DJ’s spin -- like DJ Amen Ra, DJ Anthony Batista, DJ Anton Glamb, DJ ARQ (Rando), DJ Cobra Krames, DJ Epidemic, DJ Equal, DJ Fulltime Fun, DJ Jus Ske, DJ Manero, DJ Mia Moretti, DJ Mel DeBarge, Night Kids, and many more. Always expect some surprise performances in there.

Do you think The Eldridge has successfully proven itself as the game-changer you envisioned last year? When opening The Eldridge, my goal was to bring a level of creativity to nightlife, a speakeasy lounge with great music. We sell just as many bottles as specialty cocktails, and the fusion of those two is a rare recipe. The Eldridge has managed to bridge the gap between authentic Lower East Side, up-and-coming artists to established musicians. Not many venues can say they had the chance to have U.K. group Athlete guest spin, The Cataracs perform or a Gin Wigmore after-party as well as have Prince in the DJ booth, Beyonce hop the mic or a Valentino after-party. I think that diversity sets us apart from different venues, but I wouldn’t consider it game-changing.

You've confirmed that you've gotten offers for The Eldridge. If the right one came along where would we find you in Manhattan? I’d still be in the Lower East Side. The atmosphere, the authenticity, the creativity, the culture, the music, the style. Not many pockets of Manhattan exude the character and personality that the Lower East Side has.

You've been hosting a lot of satellite lounges. Are you looking to take The Eldridge to new locations or is it staying exclusively in New York? I definitely think there is opportunity for growth and expansion in other markets, but I also think there is opportunity to expand here in New York as well. Develop on what we have accomplished and learned from opening The Eldridge and eventually
create a new venue.

With the creation of Brandsway Creative with Kelly Brady are you looking to move away from owning venues and focus on branding? The Eldridge was my first venue, and what we have achieved there is special. I think you can expect another venue in the near future, but my partnership with Kelly Brady in forming Brandsway Creative has been an amazing experience thus far. It’s exciting to combine my branding creativity, marketing techniques and special events with Kelly’s public relations expertise and wealth of experience … and then apply it to the people, places and products we represent. It’s a truly innovative business model, and a fusion of different industries and resources to achieve unique results for our clients.

Any thoughts on the Georgica re-branding into SL Southhampton? When I left Georgica to expand to handle the nightlife management and PR for Michael Gluckman’s and Rory Boothby’s restaurant The Boathouse, and what eventually we created with The Eldridge East at Bamboo -- which is Michael’s other location -- I knew I was leaving it in great hands with seasoned professionals on Saturday nights with Eugene Remm and Marc Birnbaum. I still remain very good friends with Georgica owner, David Schulman, as well as support what Eugene and Marc are doing. With Kelly Brady and my team -- which includes James Choung and Roberto Felipe -- we saw an opportunity with The Boathouse & Bamboo that really excited us.

Can you give us a look at any exclusive events you have coming in the next month or so?

Why don’t you just be surprised? You never know who might drop by but you can always expect great cocktails and great music.

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