People spend a large majority of their time either at home or at their place of employment. Home and work have become synonymous with the uptick in remote work options. However, that doesn’t change the need for people to have a third spot.
A third spot is a place where one can kick it, enjoy the vibes, and decompress from the daily hustle. Hospitality maven Dara Mirjahangiry recognized this need for such a concept and created Sei Less, an emerging New York hot spot that has the people talking.
An Entrepreneurial Spirit
Mirjahangiry has over 15 years of experience in the hospitality industry, but his journey into entrepreneurship and people-centered businesses didn’t start there.
At an early age, the restaurant founder understood the power of business and took that knowledge with him as he successfully tapped into several business endeavors.
“When I was 10, I started shoveling snow and raking leaves in the neighborhood. Then when I was in high school, I worked at a car detailing business, where I would work every weekend. And then, after college, I worked in the mortgage business and did some tech startups, and then worked in the restaurant business throughout my youth as a server,” Mirjahangiry explained. “So, I always did different jobs that gave me different skill sets. I think many of those skills come together in the restaurant business regarding time management, networking, prioritization, and different things like that.”
Creating A Lane
This diverse career backdrop set up his success in the hospitality industry. After spending some time at Philippe Chow, a luxurious Chinese restaurant, Mirjahangiry established a strong reputation in the industry, becoming “the concierge to the stars.”
From there, he launched a nightclub in New York that quickly became a hot spot in the area. Pop-up shops soon followed, highlighting his unique experience and talent with high profiles in the hospitality industry. Now, that work has brought him to his latest venture, Sei Less.
“I noticed there was a void in terms of these people going to the venues I work at, but the vibe and atmosphere are not conducive to what they’re looking for,” Mirjahangiry said. “The idea that came to my head before the pandemic, before all these membership clubs were popping up, was to create a membership club for the culture.”
In addition to the culture that Mirjahangiry is building in this space, the name for Sei Less was inspired by Fabolous and French Montana’s 2022 song “Say Less.” The two hip-hop artists even filmed parts of the visual inside the restaurant.
All About The Vibes
And while the restaurant is not membership-based, the vibe is exclusive with a doorman and chic-attire expectations. This vibe is one that Mirjahangiry knew his clientele had desired for some time. So, in addition to the speak-easy energy of the place, there are private dining opportunities and exclusive perks for patrons that speak to the significance of what Sei Less is all about.
“It’s a place for people to gather, eat, dine, network, celebrate birthday parties, and go on date nights. It’s a place where people can feel comfortable. You can be yourself,” Mirjahangiry said.
Having opened in January 2022, the Asian-fusion restaurant has frequently attracted names like Cardi B, Kevin Hart, Lil Baby, Future, James Harden, Quavo, and Klay Thompson.
A Look Into The Future
Although the restaurant is relatively new, it is already evolving into an after-hours spot for athletes in town who need a space to decompress and enjoy a good meal.
“I’ll keep the kitchen open for them late. One night we had a player that played down in Philadelphia, and they drove up to New York City after the game,” Mirjahangiry shared. “The kitchen closed at midnight, but they told me they’d get there by 1:00 a.m., and I kept the kitchen [open] and made sure that we cooked for them when they got to New York City.”
Regarding the future and expectations, Mirjahangiry wants to host more pop-up shops around the country to expand the brand. And for those interested, he encourages them to bring the good vibes and come prepared to have a good time and meal.