Omi

You’re the gatekeeper at Studio Paris. What has been the best night the club has seen?

Definitely when Kaskade came to perform. There was a surprise performance by Cee Lo Green that was also extremely great when we first opened. People were definitely surprised. But as far as promoting the night, looking forward to it, having everyone purchase tickets and having the night go basically perfect I would have to say it was having Kaskade deejay. It was great to see the space used for something like that.

How did you pull the Cee Lo surprise off?

We knew that Cee Lo was performing. We had been open for about a month and half and had already established relationships with some regulars and people we wanted to take care of so we just kind of invited people and didn’t really tell them why. We were just like, “You should really come in tonight.” People knew something was up. Cee Lo came through and did a 30-minute set. He was hilarious. He ended up staying out until lights on and hanging out and drinking afterwards. It was a lot of fun.

Any other memorable celebrity encounters?

Adam Levine and Maroon 5 stayed 30 minutes after close and we were just sitting with them having some beers. They were absolutely hilarious. Adam Levine was joking and ordering food through the kitchen which was completely closed and the chef was getting very aggravated. He thought it was one of the managers calling for food to get prepared. He was nice and fun, it was just like hanging out with a normal guy.

What are some of your biggest pet peeves that people do when they try to get in?

Saying that they are friends with the owners. Sometimes I’ll be standing next to Jerrod [Melman] and someone will be dropping not only my name but his name to the both of us. It gets annoying.

Be honest, do good looking girls get to cut the line?

They have to have a personality to match their supposed level of attractiveness. A lot of girls think they are a lot cuter than they are and it’s rude.

What is it like working for the Melman brothers?

I’ve worked with them for a few years now actually and I’ve gotten to know them pretty well personally. They are the hardest working people I know for sure. As much as they are known as the sons of Rich Melman, I really don’t know anybody who is actually at the restaurant more than they are. They are very dedicated. I look at them as not only my bosses but my friends as well.

Do they enjoy themselves at their venues or are they always in work mode?

Jerrod’s birthday was just at the end of October so that entire weekend he was in and we had special DJs. It’s always good to see them let loose a little bit.

Do you ever get to party at Studio Paris or Sub51 yourself?

No. I’ve been in on a Sunday here and there but as far as actually having a night off, I have yet to come in and experience it like a customer.

Where do you spend a night off?

I love going out to new places for dinner. A big night out to me is finding a new restaurant or bar to begin at. Just recently I went to the Aviary.

What kind of chaos goes on behind the scenes that guests wouldn’t know about?

Sometimes you get a particular type of client in, for instance this one gentleman who likes only one type of champagne. One night we had just happened to have a private event two days prior where we had poured out all of that one champagne. It is very tough to get it in house and any other night it wouldn’t seem like that big of a deal but this one guy who was from Vegas just loves to buy this champagne. He doesn’t even drink it, he buys it for other people and we were totally out of it. I didn’t think it would be that big of a deal but he was just enthralled we didn’t have it. So if you want to talk about a fiasco…

How much is this champagne?

$2,200.

Do you know what we can expect from Studio Paris for New Year’s Eve 2012?

We booked a DJ, Mr. Best. He deejays out in L.A. and Vegas. He is one of my favorites as well as one of R.J. and Jerrod’s favorites so we are going to bring him in. We are fast approaching selling out. One thing we are offering is a VIP package which is kind of neat. It includes an all you can eat dinner at Joe’s Seafood and you get to pick out your menu ahead of time.

Is this the $35,000 package?

It is. This is something we threw out there that is something totally different and over the top. It comes with a hotel suite for the night, transportation, New Year’s Day brunch for 20 guests at Hub51, unlimited bottles of Grey Goose and we are sending out a six liter bottle of Cristal which is extremely, extremely hard to obtain. Even though it’s a $35,000 table that one six liter of Cristal is virtually half of that cost. And it’s the best table in the house next to the DJ booth.

If you could have a drink with anyone, who would it be?

Gosh, there are so many people. I think being in Illinois and the fact that I like history it would be interesting to have a drink with Abraham Lincoln.

Photography by Neal Agustin

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Omi