These identical twins from Ohio brought St. Tropez to New York City’s socialites, supermodels and celebrities.
In less than ten years, Derek and Daniel Koch managed to change the entire nightlife industry. Inspired by decadent European beach parties, their Day & Night brunches have grown from New York City’s most exclusive party, to Montauk, and now South Beach.
Born in West Virginia and raised in “Martin’s Ferry” Ohio, the handsome twin brothers were college athletes looking for something bigger and better out of life. At 20 years old, they relocated to Brooklyn after being discovered by Oscar Reyes at Trump Management. While indulging in print modeling, runway work, acting, and directing, they developed refined tastes and a love for indulgent nightlife. Realizing early on that there was more to life than the pages of a magazine, the twins set out to leave their mark on the hospitality industry.
“We learned from the bottom up, running plates, taking orders, and bussing tables. We did whatever we had to do to establish ourselves” – Daniel Koch
With this new ambition in sight the twins worked around the clock as servers at Le Bilboquet and Le Charlot, gaining restaurant industry experience while simultaneously promoting nightlife clubs like Pink Elephant. After four years cutting their teeth in the business the twins were recruited by Frederick Lesort to reposition his midtown venue Frederick’s. The twins brought on investor Michael Wainstein, and as a result Frederick’s was transformed into an über-classy French-American bistro and lounge: Jour Et Nuit (“Day and Night” in French). They opened their first restaurant at the age of 25.
As the twins began to garner acclaim for the success of Jour Et Nuit, they formalized a partnership with Michael Wainstein in 2008 by creating Dual Groupe, a luxury boutique hospitality company.
Dual Groupe’s first endeavor was to launch the brand Day & Night—an original brunch concept that quickly became the most exciting lifestyle brand in the industry. By producing the event at restaurant Merkato 55, the dynamic duo discovered a hedonistic crowd even larger than they imagined—discerning New Yorkers eager for something different, fun, and exclusive. Over-the-top parties with sparkler-attired magnums of Dom Pérignon alongside cutting-edge DJs, table dancing, and delectable cuisine turned Saturday brunch into THE place to hang for the young, rich and fabulous.
“We had been given an opportunity to work with such great restaurateurs. I felt privileged to be in this bubble that not everyone can just walk into. We were shown how to eat, speak, and wait on people properly, things that are rooted deep in the European culture. It was inspiring to me.” – Derek Koch
The 2009/2010 Zagat NYC Nightlife Guide compared Day & Night to “brunching at Studio 54,” Haute Living called the brothers “New York’s Wonder twins,” Black Book labeled the brunches “one of New York’s hottest Day parties” and Bizbash described it as “wild dangerous fun.” As brunch became synonymous with jet set day clubbing, partner Michael Wainstein started cutting deals around the globe, and their now iconic idea of brunch took up its current residency on 16th street in NYC’s meat packing district at Gurney’s Inn on the beach in Montauk and the Ritz Carlton in South Beach.
In 2010 Dual Groupe set out to create a restaurant experience in the meat packing, and thus MPD was born in September. A fresh take on dinner and entertainment by some of the best mixologists and DJs, MPD was constantly packed. By spring of 2011 it was awarded a Michelin Guide Recommendation.
Since the beginning the Koch brothers have brought the very best of European lifestyle dining and entertainment to New York, and so in 2012 they challenged themselves by creating Toy, an Asian food experience located at the Gansevoort Hotel. The incredibly successful venue operates as a full lifestyle restaurant melding burlesque with aerial shows.
2013 does not show any sign of slowing down with no less than two new venues on the books to open by summer. Creativity is in no short supply with the “Kings of Brunch.”
On March 17, the he E! Network premiered the new docu-series “Playing with Fire.” Viewers of the show will get to see the inner workings of Derek and Daniel preparing for the grand opening of a new restaurant at the Gansevoort Hotel. People will experience the tension between these two brothers as they try to balance their work and relationships.
“Playing with Fire” airs Sundays at 10:00pm ET/PT on E!
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