Thatcher Shultz is on a quest to revive New York City nightlife. You might not have been aware that it needed saving, but on close inspection of the past decade, the once vibrant scene had started to feel a little stale and repetitive. Enter Shultz, who grew up on a small island in Mid-Coast Maine. “I never thought I would end up having a hand in New York City nightlife. Surprisingly, I was a really quiet kid, I kept to myself and I wasn't very social. I had a neighbor friend, a yellow lab, a mountain bike, a fly-rod and a love for nature to keep me occupied.”
After studying Economics at Dickinson College, Thatcher moved to Seattle to launch independentwheel.com; a distribution business for aluminum wheel components. Six years later, Thatcher moved to New York on a hunch to pursue a career in hospitality. His goal was simple: to learn as much about the industry and meet as many people as he could.
Shortly after arriving in New York, Thatcher met Kyle O'Brien. The pair hit it off instantly, bonding over a passion for entertaining and old school Porsche 911's. O’Brien was already working on a West Village bar deal with Gavin Moseley and Adam Fulton and Shultz jumped at the chance to be involved. A few months later, The Garret (an always buzzing hidden bar nested above a Five Guys), opened and Thatcher knew he was on the right track. He went on to open three existing independent outposts: Kind Regards (with Michael Bray), Make Believe (with Jack Mulqueen) and Her Name Was Carmen (with Andres Diaz).
Stepping into one of Thatcher’s spaces gives one a window into his ethos. Shultz has a rare vision that shows in all of the details of his hotspots. From the unique interiors to eclectic music programming and chic staff. The details are meticulous, the crowd is cool but never ostentatious and the cocktails are inviting.
“I want to give New Yorkers exceptional experiences. Nightlife is a big part of this city’s identity and for the past 10 years, has grown increasingly mundane and promoter-driven, whereas my business model has always been organic. The people who frequent my spaces actually enhance and bring to life the environment that we design.”
With Fashion Week upon us and everyone finally returning from their Summer travels, Thatcher’s busiest season is just about to begin. With a number of exciting projects in the works, it is safe to say Shultz is just getting started.