Mark Birnbaum had no idea when he was planning after-prom parties at The Wheatley School and managing a nightclub at Ithaca College, that it would lead him to be involved in one of the hottest nightspots in New York - Lobby.
Birnbaum is the CEO/President of Operative, Inc., a firm the consults for bars, nightclubs and real estate development. The 26-year-old Long Island native left a lucrative career on Wall Street to work his true passion, planning and promoting events.
Why did you leave your job in finance?
I was tired of it, not into it. I have always thrown parties, and always wanted to do that. When 9-11 happened, I lived right across the street, and then the economy took a nose-dive and I figured it's better to do what makes you happy, doing what you want to do and that will make you successful and happy.
Tell me a little about Lobby?
My partner, Jeremy and I, wanted to create a club with high-end service and nice dcor. In this economy, if people are going to spend a lot of money, you better give them proper service. It's sort of like a high-end hotel bar without the rooms above it. The whole theme is a hotel lobby bar but without the restrictions like noise levels. It's a high-energy lounge with all the amenities.
What is your typical night away from Lobby like?
I like checking out the competition, seeing what is trend setting, what everyone is eating and drinking. Staying in tune. Typical night might be going to a restaurant or an event. Going to the Soho House or whatever the next "new" thing is. I don't drink so what entertains me is pretty girls and how things operate.
If you could create your perfect woman, what would she be like?
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