On October 9th, I had the pleasure of hosting hospitality legend, Noah Tepperberg and his new wife Melissa Wood’s wedding here at The Plaza. We sat down after the big day to chat about his success in hospitality and what the future holds for him and his family. As a frequent guest of the Tao Group Properties such as Marquee, Lavo, Tao Downtown, and PhD, playing a part in this wedding was quite an honor!
ER: How did you get started in the Nightlife Business and did you ever think that it would turn into the empire you have built now?
NT: I started out promoting parties as a student; from there I worked my way up at times working almost every position from doorman to bartender. I never imagined that what started out as summer job in high school and college would have led to a 24+ year career that would have me running venues in 5 cities with over 5,000 employees, never in a million years.
ER: How did you and your business partner Jason Strauss meet?
NT: I met Jason when I showed up to one of the Riverdale High School homecoming parties he was running with 30 friends and he did not want to let my group inside.
ER: How did you meet your now wife Melissa Wood?
NT: I met Melissa when she began working at Marquee over 10 years ago.
ER: How do you maintain balance with your busy schedule with a wife and child?
Do you work a lot of nights and weekends?
NT: Time management is the key to maintaining a balanced work and family life. I make a point to schedule certain days, meal periods and other times for “family time” and once I do that I hold that time sacred and never let my work get in the way. Currently my family days are Sat & Sun (all day), Sun nights and a few mornings a week. I spend 10-14 hours in my office 5 days a week and I go to my venues or travel for work 5-6 nights per week, so yes, I’d say that I do works lots of nights and weekends!
ER: What was your favorite NYC hotspot before you were running them?
NT: I loved Life, that was probably my all time favorite club to go to when not working (even though we did promote Tues nights there). I also used to love to go to Gold Bar on Sundays, Joe’s Pub on Mondays and occasionally Upper East Side bars like Dorrians.
ER: What do attribute your success too?
NT: Hard work, great partners and a genuine love for what it is that I do.
ER: Your wedding was such a highlight for me, someone who admires your hard work and who enjoys the hospitality industry as much as I do! What was your favorite memory of the big day?
NT: Having my son Benjamin under the Chuppah with Melissa and I was the highlight, it was the one part of the wedding that we could not plan for and when it all worked out so perfectly it really stole the show for us.
Source: Dennis Kwan Photography
ER: What are your next goals?
NT: Next up for me is to grow our family; I’d like to have more children.
ER: If you could have dinner with 3 people excluding your family, who would they be and where would you go?
NT: Richard Branson on Necker Island.
The President of the United States at the White House.
Warren Buffet at any of one our restaurants.
ER: What are your top three favorite dishes from any of your restaurants?
NT: Meatball at Lavo
Chicken fajita at Bodega Negra
French onion soup dumpling at Beauty & Essex LV
ER: If you were running the hottest clubs and restaurants in NYC, LA, Vegas or Sydney what would you be doing?
NT: I assume you meant to ask if I was NOT running… In that case I think I’d be an event planner as that is what I did prior to my full time career in hospitality.
For more on Noah & Melissa's beautiful wedding, check out the below: