And he is far from finished. “In the last year, I’ve looked at about 150 different deals,” he said. “Right now, I’m looking at nine deals that I’m seriously involved in.”
These include a potential opportunity, first reported by New York magazine, to open another club in 6,800 square feet of basement space inside Soho’s historic Puck Building. (The Puck Building is owned by Kushner Companies; Jared Kushner, a principal, is publisher of The Observer.)
But that’s just Manhattan.
He and Mr. Sevigny recently signed on as “lifestyle consultants” on the forthcoming 330-room boutique hotel called the Chelsea in Atlantic City. “Matt’s got a real talent,” said Curtis Bashaw, the hotel’s developer. “He loves design. He loves architecture.”
He’s also in talks with the owners of the iconic Stratosphere hotel in Las Vegas about contributing to its pending redesign, and there are lingering rumors about another potential nightspot in Los Angeles.
“Paul and I have spoken about going out to L.A. and opening a business there,” Mr. Abramcyk said. “There’s a dearth of things like what we do out there. But it’s in such a nascent stage, there’s no meat on that bone.”
It sounds like an awful lot, especially for a guy who’s primary experience in hospitality came on the opposite side of the bar. “I’ve always loved going out in New York,” said Mr. Abramcyk, who traces his interest back to his days as a youngster partying at the old O Bar in midtown, located conveniently within stumbling distance of his parents’ home on East 58th Street. “Even at a young age, I would walk into places and quickly form opinions on the ambiance, the music, the décor, the personalities in there.”
The grandnephew of Nobel Prize-winning author Isaac Bashevis Singer, Mr. Abramcyk studied finance and English at New York University and later worked on Wall Street, with a brief stop along the way on the set of the NBC show Late Night With Conan O’Brien, which included an appearance as an extra on the recurring skit “Pubes”—an experience he is quick to reenact. “Let me just give you a taste of ‘Pubes,’” he said, laughing, during a recent interview at Smith & Mills.
The seeds of his nighttime entrepreneurship became firmly planted at Schiller’s Liquor Bar on the Lower East Side, where he spent a great deal of time after quitting his job in 2003 as a financial analyst. He and a friend, Akiva Elstein, also a Schiller’s employee, decided to open their own bar; they ultimately partnered, alongside several other investors, in opening Employees Only, and later, Smith & Mills.
“My great ambition in life is to affect as many people with my design ideas as possible, my aesthetic,” said Mr. Abramcyk, who is also engaged to be married this July to Nadine Ferber, proprietor of Mick Margo clothing shop in Greenwich Village. “Design is my whole thing,” he said. “It starts with the floors, up through the banquets, to the walls, the ceiling, the music, the people that are working in it—I consider all that design, although obviously the bones of the structure and build-out of the structure are my favorite part.
“The bones of the place have to speak to you,” he added, when asked what he looks for in a venue.
IT’S A QUICK learning curve, with a number of bumps along the way. “The rule in the business is you have to get rejected from 10 or 20 or 100 spaces,” he said. “Paul was looking for a bar for like seven years or something like that. So some people have to look at a thousand spaces, some people only have to look at a hundred; but either way, you have to look at a lot of spaces.”
Another rule he soon learned: You can’t choose your neighbors.