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The Lyons Group's Ray Montgomery

Ace, Frankie, and Sal of 6one7 Production

The Roxy Group's Jeff Delpidio

Players 2005
Part 1: Nightclubs

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.

Players make 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 control.

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

Jamie 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

While 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 portfolio.

George Lewis Jr. and George Wright Jr., Foundation Lounge

As 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 workhorse.

Brian O’Donnell, Vinalia and Felt

O’Donnell, 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 Player.

Shahrokh Reza, Venu and Rumor

Venu 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

Beaulieu, 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

Together, 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 Players.

Mindy d’Arbeloff, Steve Coyle, Ray Montgomery, and Eric Aulenback, Lyons Group

The 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

Ace 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 Boston nightlife.

Jeff Delpidio, Roxy Group

Jeff 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 any standard.


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