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Worn Out Wednesday – James Morrissey

worn out wednesday james morrissey

Today we speak to hospitality guru James Morrissey.

When Irish entrepreneur James Morrissey moved to Manhattan in 2013, he arrived with more business savvy and experience than most newcomers. Now, two years in and just 28-years-old, James has officially added “restaurateur” to his resume with the success of The Late Late Bar & Spirit Grocer.

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James began his career in Ireland while still in university, setting up The Signature Group, which remains one of the country’s largest nightlife events and marketing companies. Ever in pursuit of his next venture, James moved to Manhattan to bring what he calls “constructive disruption” to the New York hospitality industry.

In 2014 James opened The Late Late Bar & Spirit Grocer of New York in the trendy lower east side of Manhattan. The Late Late is a purposefully subtle, Irish-inspired local bar named after the longest running TV talk show in the world. Unlike the Irish pubs peppered throughout Manhattan, James wanted to bring a little bit of the real modern Ireland to the city. James partnered up with friend Rob Ackroyd (lead guitarist with UK music group Florence & The Machine) to create a chilled lower east side hangout with great music, which Rob curates. With regulars such as Jeremy Piven, Fallout Boy, LA Reid and One Direction, James prides himself on maintaining a low-key bar that focuses on great drinks, great food, great music, and even better company.

Though he now splits his time between New York and Ireland, James has some projects up his sleeve that will keep him stateside for the foreseeable future. In the meantime, he’ll be planning summer weekends in Montauk and The Hamptons to relax before he comes up with his next business venture. 

Here James tells us more about his personal style:

Jeans: Ralph Lauren Black Label

Shirts: Calvin Klein White Shirts.. Can never have too many

Suits: J Crew Ludlow. Navy suit, crisp white shirt.. Always

Shoes: Paul Smith Loafers or Boots

Accessories: Raymond Weil watch, keep it simple

Outerwear: The Kooples

Favorite Cologne: Bulgari Extreme

Your favorite App: Uber

Favorite piece of technology: iPhone 6 Plus

Next tech purchase: Drone

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Anthony Martignetti went from blowing glass to serving striped bass

Anthony Martignetti here. Along with my brother Tom, I run Broome Street Hospitality in New York City. We own and operate The East Pole Kitchen and Bar, Brinkley's Broome Street Pub, Pizza Beach (one on the Lower East, one on the Upper East) and Southside Nightclub. In early May we opened Eastfield's, which is the sister restaurant to the East Pole. And in June we will be opening a totally new concept for us: Cafe Americano, also in the heart of the Upper East Side.
As we have grown as people and a company we have been very lucky to have been able to follow not only our passion, but our ethics. We didn't come from a food background but have found ourselves deeply involved with the food industry today. My brother studied International Affairs and I studied Sculpture. When we opened up Brinkley's over 10 years ago, although we were the first to serve exclusively New York State beers and wines, we would have never imagined that we would be at the forefront of farm-to-table and sustainably sourced dining with The East Pole and Eastfield's. 
Our company is unique in the sense that we have no outside partners, investors or funding. This keeps us extremely dynamic and able to move quickly and make deals and changes that we want to without having to raise capital or consult a larger team, as each project is funded by the success of the last one. Within the company, although we don't have titles, I run the creative branch and my brother runs the business and management. At least that's what we tell people, but we really are both pretty much involved with everything except the cooking (which for our customer's sake is a good thing). 
I come from a design background and I love imagining something and being able to build it. In college I spent my time welding steel sculpture and blowing glass. Even though I now primarily design restaurants, I still build what I can when I have the time whether it's the copper bar at the East Pole or the tables at Pizza Beach (where I even took the photos on the walls). Before going into restaurants, I founded Uhuru Design in Red Hook Brooklyn in 2002 with my friends from RISD (they have since done amazing things in the design world so you should check them out too). This summer after Eastfield's and Cafe Americano open, I am finally building my first free standing home, which will be my beach house in Rockaway Beach Queens, on the site of some old bungalows I bought after they were wrecked in Hurricane Sandy. Rockaway is an amazing place, and designing and building the most ecologically friendly and hopefully first off the grid house in New York City is probably a long shot but its been a really fun (and yes, quite frustrating at points) process so far. 
Anyway, thanks for reading. Hopefully see you guys at one of our spots soon, whether you like wood fired pizza topped with farm fresh local vegetables and house made mozzarella or pasture raised grass fed burgers, biodynamic wines from the Rhone Valley or small batch IPAs brewed in Brooklyn, we have you covered.
As for my personal style:
Almost always a jean work shirt from 45rpm, the Japanese denim company. They last forever and I put them through a real beating, but they are cool enough that i can dust off from the new construction site and wear it into one of my restaurants and not look like I'm there to fix something. I'm pretty big in japan, so the sleeves are a little short...  
I spend more of my days time designing and building restaurants than actually running them, so just like with my shirts I've gotta wear something that can look good in both places. I've pretty much settled on J.Crew for their work pants. they are the cut of a great jean, but without looking like one and they aren't denim. go with navy blue, it hides saw dust and red wine spills equally well...
Not that I wouldn't, but I don't own a suit. I prefer to pair a great jacket with whatever pants I think works with them. From my navy blue Brioni tuxedo to an old velvet dinner jacket to a linen blazer. It gets me in trouble sometimes; like over Easter going to the opera at La Scala in Milan with my girlfriend her mother, but I really hate suit pants.  
Sneakers (New Balance since I was 5), or hiking boots (Asolo/Scarpa). When they won't cut it, I wouldn't be caught dead in anything but Belgian Shoes. They don't make the colors I like (women's) in a men's 13, so I design and order custom color combos (which usually make anyone I'm with wince and walk on the other side of the street).
This probably isn't the place to mention my Hello Kitty backpack, so I won't. And I've never owned a watch.  I wear tortoise shell Warby Parker glasses (model: The Downing) everyday. Have I mentioned my Hello Kitty wallet?
Patagonia has always made the best equipment, at least in my book. Whether I'm mountaineering, back country skiing, sailing or even at yoga, i'm usually in it. Even the back pack I use everyday bouncing around New York. I wish I could say this was a hint that I needed some new equipment, but nothing has ever broken. Although I could use a new set of crampons for a mountaineering trip I have coming up in August. The founder Yvon Chouinard is a man I admire; he has done amazing things for the world while running a business that I ethically respect.
I'm lucky to remember to put on deodorant, so lets keep it at that. Old Spice original. It's what my dad wears. 
favorite app:
WQXR radio app. The classical music radio station in New York 105.9 has a killer app. I'm not joking. It's my alarm in the morning and it's on when I got to bed. I am a total groupie. I'm going to Josh Bell's house for dinner tonight and am the Co-Chairman of the young members of New York Philharmonic, and I listen to classical music all day (if you watch Mozart in the jungle, there is a chance you think this is cool. If not, you most likely just stopped reading).
favorite piece of technology:
My beeper. And Autocad. I use Autocad all the time. I am humbled every day walking around New York seeing the masterpieces designed by architects using a ruler and compass. 
next tech purchase:
A wind turbine. I'm designing and building an off the (electric) grid beach house for myself in Rockaway Beach, Queens; surfer heaven in New York City. I'm installing solar on the roof, but in the advent of cloudy days and winter, I'm hopefully getting a variance from the building department to install a wind turbine. That's pretty cool and definitely techy. 

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