IN THE MOVIE of our lives, we are
all big stars. The problem is, no one but ourselves would ever want to
see that ﬂick. Unless, of course, you’re a Player.
things happen. Their lives are interesting because they are leaders,
whether by dictate or by example. Players are action-oriented: they ﬁnd
the best ideas and put them into motion. Players make deals, often with
other Players. They know the right people and have the right contacts.
People look up to Players because they have power, inﬂuence, and
For clariﬁcation (and, to be frank, to ward off the
inevitable barrage of irate phone calls we receive after publishing
each Players Issue), a deﬁnition: a nightlife Player, as deﬁned by STUFF@night,
is someone who has a profound and positive inﬂuence on what goes on in
Boston after dark. For this, our ﬁfth annual Players list, we are
changing things up a bit, and making the ground rules clear from the
get-go. Some people who have been on prior Players lists do not appear
on this one; that is not because they are any less important to the
scene than they were in years past — it’s just that our criteria have
gotten more strict. There are no media or PR people on this list. All
Players must reside primarily in Boston. Some silent partners in
successful operations are not Players, especially if they operate out
of the public and industry eye. And now, the hard stuff; all Players
must qualify on at least two of the following points:
1) They must own/control/manage/have an interest in two or more establishments.
2) They must have clout and inﬂuence in the industry, and be able to rally their peers.
3) They must transcend their niche, and exercise inﬂuence in realms outside their own.
4) They must be beyond reproach, and be obvious, natural-born Players.
And so, with no further ado, we present you with the 100 most powerful people in Boston nightlife. STUFF@night’s Players 2005: just push " play. "
Jamie Giorgio, News
Giorgio grew up in a nightlife environment, as his family owns the
successful La Famiglia Giorgio restaurants. For many years, Giorgio
worked as one of Boston’s elite club promoters. He built a contact base
that serves him well to this day at News, his funky, upscale,
late-night restaurant near South Station. This is a guy who knows how
to bridge both the nightclub and the restaurant worlds.
Joey Arcari, The Tavern, Wish, Tonic, Joshua Tree, Playwright, Beer Garden, and Sauce
many Players, like Arcari, prefer to operate behind the scenes, you can
get a glimpse of their genius by taking in the breadth of their
holdings. Arcari has the Tavern and Wish in Cambridge’s busy Central
Square; Tonic is on the Allston-Brighton line; Joshua Tree and Sauce
are in the heart of Davis Square, in Somerville; and Playwright and
Beer Garden are South Boston institutions. Talk about a diversiﬁed
George Lewis Jr. and George Wright Jr., Foundation Lounge
a former owner of the 1369 Jazz Club, Quarterdeck, and 29 Newbury; a
founding opening partner of both Jasper White’s Summer Shack and Lydia
Shire’s Locke-Ober; and an early investor with Patrick Lyons (back in
1982), George Lewis Jr. is an icon on the Boston nightlife scene.
George Wright Jr. is an industry pro who was the opening operator of
Whiskey Park. Together they just opened the incredible Foundation
Lounge, an upscale, mature nightclub in the Hotel Commonwealth in
Kenmore Square. Players, indeed.
Igor Blatnik, 33 Restaurant & Lounge
Blatnik, a co-owner of 33 with Greg Den Herder,
is something of a legend in local nightclub circles. For the past
decade, he’s had his ﬁnger on the pulse of the international club
scene, and has worked at many of Boston’s hottest joints at the height
of their popularity. His connections with the European crowd are
unsurpassed. Blatnik is both a charmer and a behind-the-scenes
Brian O’Donnell, Vinalia and Felt
a well-respected industry veteran, is a partner and a manager at both
the wine bar/restaurant Vinalia and the upscale pool hall/nightclub
Felt. It takes a lot of knowledge, experience, and guile to handle the
day-to-day operations at two places as disparate as Vinalia and Felt,
but O’Donnell has the skills that pay the bills, and that’s why he’s a
Shahrokh Reza, Venu and Rumor
and Rumor are two of the most upscale, elegant nightclubs in the city.
The clientele at these establishments is generally sophisticated and
afﬂuent, which is a direct result of Reza’s inﬂuence. Together with his
long-time associate, Heather Lite, Reza has become a person of clout in Boston nightlife.
Tom Beaulieu, Rise
with partner Darren Morda, owns only one enterprise, Rise. But because
Rise is the only after-hours club in the city, the two men have become
experts in all the legalities of operating a nightclub. They also know
how to create a warm, welcoming nightclub community (Rise is a
members-only club) that is as tight-knit as any in the city.
Catherine Mainzer and Carol Downs, Bella Luna and Milky Way
the neighborhood-y Bella Luna and the urban, funky Milky Way generate a
positive energy that draws people of all kinds into Hyde Square — it
just feels good to be there. Mainzer and Downs have also been
instrumental in organizing the annual Hyde Square World’s Fair. If
you’re talking about nightlife in JP, Mainzer and Downs are your
Mindy d’Arbeloff, Steve Coyle, Ray Montgomery, and Eric Aulenback, Lyons Group
Lyons Group is the premier nightlife organization in the city of Boston
— there, we said it. They do it bigger than anyone else. And that is
the reason you’ve read about these people (often in these very pages)
before. With such a diverse range of offerings — restaurants range from
the Sweetwater Café to Sonsie, and nightclubs from Lucky’s Lounge to
the new Game On! — Patrick Lyons needs a crack staff of
top-notch professionals to keep things running smoothly.
Public-relations VP d’Arbeloff is without peer in terms of her
experience, contacts, and attention to detail; operations VP Steve
Coyle keeps Sonsie, Kings, the DeVille Lounge, and now Game On! running
smoothly; operations VP Eric Aulenback is the man in charge at the Big
Easy, the Sweetwater Café, Sugar Shack, Tiki Lounge, and Lucky’s
Lounge; and Ray Montgomery, the GM of Avalon, Axis, and Embassy,
manages the best nightclub complex in the world.
Ace Gershﬁeld, Frankie Stavrianopoulos, and Salvatore Boscarino, 6one7 Productions
Gershﬁeld, Salvatore Boscarino, and Frankie Stavrianopoulos are three
young bucks who epitomize the new generation of Players. They took an
old idea — promoting club nights — and infused it with immeasurable
creativity, hard work, and style. For the past seven years, 6one7 has
been working its magic at many of Boston’s hottest nights. Yes, the
company’s nights have been known to slide around from venue to venue,
and yes, not every nightclub owner wants to use outside promoters, but
the fact remains that 6one7 ﬁlls a room with a hip, funky,
good-looking, big-spending crowd (many of them industry people) — in
other words, the perfect nightclub demographic. Current 6one7 nights
include " Evolution Tuesdays " at Rumor, " Recess Thursdays " at
Venu, " Foundation Fridays " at Aria, and " Roxy Saturdays. "
These cats show no signs of slowing down as they continue to redeﬁne
Jeff Delpidio, Roxy Group
Delpidio learned about the nightclub business at the knee of a master —
his father, Lou. While Lou Delpidio still consults on the group’s
properties, Jeff is the new man in charge. The Roxy Group’s holdings
include the Roxy Ballroom, Matrix, Rumor, Venu, Felt, 180, Caprice, and
Club Lido at the Wonderland Ballroom — a very impressive collection by