Business titans routinely uncover satisfaction as avid collectors—in approaches past amassing stock solutions. Leonard Lauder, retired CEO of Estée Lauder, collected just one of the world’s fantastic assemblages of Cubist paintings that he donated to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Former Yahoo main Marissa Mayer relishes festooning her gardens with avant-garde sculptures by the likes of Jeff Koons, whilst Howard Schultz, builder of Starbucks, gets a kick from incorporating to his display circumstance of uncommon, classic Rolex watches.
These tycoons typically deploy in their artistic attaining the identical steely precision that steers their business ventures, marshaling networks of dealers, students and advisers to unearth the very best attributes at the proper charges. By distinction, Marc Rowan meandered into his unorthodox edition of the collecting game—acquiring, remodeling and curating eating places on Prolonged Island’s East End—via a random route that bears no resemblance to his intricate strategic considering that developed an insurance coverage empire at Apollo World wide Administration, wherever he serves as CEO. “Usually, I’m not a collector of everything,” Rowan explained to me through a extended interview in white-marble cafeteria at Apollo’s Manhattan headquarters. “I bought into the restaurant business by accident. It all began due to the fact I like to develop issues. I’ve renovated several properties about time. I know a lot of individuals don’t see it that way, but I locate it peaceful.”
Rowan entered the dining arena as a landlord of unsuccessful eateries. “I owned an historic making in Sag Harbor where by I had a restaurant as my tenant,” he remembers. “And that restaurant went out of company.” The pattern repeated at a Rowan property on the water in Montauk. “It took me a calendar year to comprehend that I was in the restaurant business enterprise,” he jokes.
Rowan resolved to redo the spaces and recruit a seasoned manager—and operate the rebranded venues his individual way. “I employed a gentleman named Steve Jauffrineau from La Goulue on Madison Avenue as my husband or wife,” says Rowan, who’s no helicopter proprietor, an solution that also characterizes his stewardship of the $600 billion alternative asset shop. “Now, I have the greatest gastronomic job recognized to mankind. I do the idea and structure, and conceive the menu. I give Steve my comments at the commencing of the season and the conclusion of the season. He deals with almost everything, and it’s a excellent arrangement.”
The Wall Streeter receives it ideal by getting the “wrong” cafe
So very good, in actuality, that following the achievements of the to start with two areas, Duryea’s Montauk and Lulu Kitchen & Bar in Sag Harbor, the Jauffrineau band craved enlargement. “Like any group which is thriving, which includes at Apollo, they wanted much more,” Rowan relates. His quest for a new place provides a further zany episode to his increase as the Accidental Restauranteur.
Rowan embarked on a nautical browsing tour, having his boat, his son as crew, throughout the Peconic Bay from the Hamptons to the North Fork, the the peninsula that harbors Extended Island’s scenic wine region. From the water, Rowan spied a charming dockside emporium that seemed ideal. He then requested his lawyer, previous decide Edward Burke, Sr., to make the purchase. “I instructed him that I’d uncovered a fantastic cafe, and that it’s out in Orient [the historic village at the North Fork’s east end]. I sent him a several shots and advised him the characteristics,” notes Rowan. “But the choose and I have a declaring, ‘Don’t buy everything right until there’s ice on the ground.’ Anyone is incredibly optimistic in the Hamptons in the summer time and they get fewer optimistic when it receives chilly.”
Burke in fact secured a agreement of sale. But he insisted that before signing, Rowan go to on land the website he’d only seen by sea. “I claimed, “Great, ‘I’ll see you there on Sunday early morning,’” recalls Rowan. “I get to the cafe I imagined I was about to invest in. I’m never ever late, and the choose is hardly ever late. And the decide isn’t there! I understood a thing was erroneous.” Rowan phoned Decide Burke, who was ready at yet another eatery a mile further east—the location he’d clinched the deal to order. “I drove to the cafe where by the choose was ready, that I hadn’t thought of buying, and considered it was beautiful. So I purchased the ‘wrong’ cafe alternatively,” recounts Rowan.
This most up-to-date, newly-renovated addition to culinary addresses, Duryea’s Orient Stage, offers such upscale specialties as Spanish Octopus and lobster cobb salad. As common, Rowan luxuriated in “structuring,” to use Wall Street-speak, the bill of fare.