Richard Addison, also known as Ric Addison, company first gained distinction & recognition with the opening of his Ava Lounge atop the Dream Hotel in 2002, starting the New York City "Rooftop Lounge" trend and which remains one of New York City’s hottest Hotel Nightlife destinations to-date. With the opening of Ava Lounge, the challenge, for Ric Addison was to bring a large number of guests -- daily and too a venue with no outside street signs and that additionally required an elevator ride up 15 floors above the city!
Ric Addison met the challenge head-on and successfully garnered a front page lifestyle story covering Ava Lounge's opening in USA Today and The New York Times in addition to being honored as "Best After Work" Drink spot by New York Magazine's Best of New York helped put Ava on the map and the blue chip corporate clients and celebrities quickly made Ava one of the most sought after venues in New York City. Prior to Ava Lounge’s opening, Ric Addison has collaborated with many a Hotel & Nightlife legends. Most recently, Ric Addison added the low-key, chic Lounge & Restaurant THE BAR at the Dream Hotel and The Inc Lounge at The Time Hotel which has become a Broadway Celebrity hotspot that recently hosted Lady Gaga and Madonna in the VIP “Pool Room”.
How did you get into the hospitality industry?
I went to work for Ian Schrager at the age of 20 at Paramount Hotel in NYC. Hospitality was a calling as I truly & genuinely like meeting people.
Tell us about Addison Hospitality. What inspired the idea and what is your vision for the company?
The concept is to create sophisticated yet relaxed venues for hotels around the world.
What strategic partnerships/marketing strategies have you implemented that have attributed to Addison Hospitality's success?
We engage in many marketing partnerships over the course of the year but I think the most successful ones are with media outlets that host events.
What industry trends are you noticing and how do you capitalize on them?
We are seeing that more and more social media influences people on where to go out at night. There are so many choices in a city like NYC and people rely on social media to edit down the list of places to visit.
Work hard, be kind.
Do not sweat the small things
Addison Hospitality's Motto?
Service with a smile
Your greatest success as founder/CEO of Addison Hospitality?
Owning 4 Boutique Lounge/Nightclubs in NYC
Most difficult moment-how did you overcome and what did you learn?
The transition from Management to Ownership. When you are 100% responsible for 100% of everything it's easy to feel weighted down and the pressure of so many relying on you.
To overcome it I had to work harder and I learned that sometimes you have to ask for a little help from your team.
Your advice to an aspiring entrepreneur?
Learn to look at the big picture and be able to leave your comfort zone
Describe the ideal experience at your venues.
A warm greeting, Mixed Crowd, top notch cocktails and food, incredible design and atmosphere
How important are architecture/design to the success of your venues?
It is critical and with roof top lounges you can not “over do it”
How do you motivate your employees?
By treating them like family
One food and drink left on earth, what would you choose?
Pistachios & Lemonade
What literature is on your bed stand?
Architectural Digest & The Art of War
Role model - business and personal?
Business- Richard Branson
Personal- William Addison, My Father
Favorite travel destination?
What’s next for Addison Hospitality?
We are actively looking in Miami & Charleston for a new venue.
FAVORITE: NYC Hotels: Uptown: The Plaza Hotel Midtown: The Pod Hotel Downtown: Dream Hotel
Restaurants French: Dirty French Italian: Serafina Sushi Bars: Morimoto Seafood: BLT FISH Chinese: Lilli & Loo Pizza: Artichoke American/Burgers Steakhouse Peter Lugers Desert: Payard Coffee: Toby’s Estate
Bars/Lounges/Clubs Uptown: LAVO Midtown: Monarch Roof Top Lounge Downtown: Beauty & Essex
Spas/Gyms/Workouts: Equinox - Beauty Products: Keihls
Fashion: Shoes:Aldo Bags:Tumi Jewelry: Scoop -Clothing: Armani Accessories: Mark Jacobs
Art Galleries/Cultural Institutions & Artists/Exhibitions - Chelsea Art District , MOMA