Jesse Keyes designs and develops businesses that facilitate a balanced, pleasurable and productive life. A spatially oriented “architecture for living” undergirds his hospitality, culinary and fashion products. He is co-owner, developer, and operating partner of the restaurant and bar, Hotel Griffou, a NYC standard in Greenwich Village’s Gold Coast. He is a founding investing partner of two of Manhattan's most successful nightlife venues: La Esquina and Goldbar.
Jesse is also the co-owner and president of Karolina Zmarlak, a women’s fashion design label, with aesthetics based in the austere architecture of the Soviet regimes. He designed and developed E__P, a private event and live music performance venue in the basement of the iconic CBGB’s. He developed and operates 1945, the food and beverage program in New York City’s Cassa Hotel, designed by the celebrity architect, Enrique Noten. He is currently developing a designer juice bar concept, melding good design, chef-driven food and pressed juice.
Jesse is working on his dissertation and a book about the importance of nightlife to the creative economy, and has previously written a column for BlackBook called Dark Design, profiling spatial aesthetics in nightlife. Jesse has worked at the Boston Consulting Group, where as a strategic consultant he worked in range of industries. He started REcappartners in 1998 to develop real estate and has completed several successful real estate projects in Manhattan and Texas, most notably he developed and owns One 7th Avenue South in Greenwich Village.
A graduate of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, Jesse specialized in residential and urban planning. With a Fulbright Fellowship, he studied architecture and design in Spain, receiving a Masters from the Polytechnical University of Catalunya. He has an M.S. in real estate development from Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, and won a Presidential Fellowship to attain his doctorate at Rutgers' Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, where he also taught urban planning and studies for 3 years.
Jesse has appeared in various media outlets for his work including The New York Times, Daily News, The New York Observer, New York Post, W Magazine, Business of Fashion, Zink and New York’s local ABC News.