He continued to write it off, though, until the coronavirus pandemic shut the world down. “Now all of a sudden, everyone’s stuck at home, lonely and horny,” he says. “I’m getting all of these messages, like, ‘Hey, when am I going to get accepted to Lox Club?’ And then I’m thinking to myself, ‘All right, maybe it would make sense now with COVID. There’s no other real way for people to meet.'”
A trip to Philadelphia for his grandparents’ funeral convinced him to commit. As he pored over their wedding invitation and old letters back at their house, he crafted an entire fictional backstory about Josie Spielman, who created a secret lounge in the back of her New York City deli called The Lox Club.
His overall goal, he explains, was to make something that felt more “like an immersive experience” than an app you mindlessly swiped through. He loved the idea of this “cinematic speakeasy” and the password needed for entry, “and then you’d happen to meet people as a byproduct.”
It’s a concept that clicked with others. Launched last fall, “Somehow it gets picked up by New York Times and Vogue and Forbes,” he says, “and now we have a real team and here we are—I’m planning these in-real-life events.”
In the wake of another successful bash at September’s New York Fashion Week, the Lox Club CEO grants E! News entry into his not-at-all-lame world.