“The Other Koch Brothers…”
- The New York Times
Identical twin brothers Derek and Daniel Koch, born entrepreneurs and former D1 athletes on 'The Ohio State Wrestling Team,' made a significant move from Columbus, Ohio to New York City in September 2002. Their purpose was to pursue their passion for filmmaking, and since then, they have established themselves in the bustling metropolis, making a name for themselves in the hospitality and real estate industries.
From the moment they arrived in 2002, the Koch Twins immersed themselves in the vibrant NYC hospitality scene. They began their journey as protégés of esteemed figures like Philippe Delgrange, Thierry and Bruno Gelromini, Aymeric Clemente, Patrick Cabido, Jean-Baptiste Parvaix, and William Abadie at renowned French restaurants on the Upper East Side, 'Le Bilboquet' and 'Le Charlot.' While studying film at 'NYU CSPS,' the brothers took on pivotal roles as marketing directors at 'In The Buzz,' contributing to the promotion of top nightlife venues in NYC such as 'Pink Elephant,' Cain, and 'Pacha.'
Taking a significant step forward, the Koch twins, along with Blake Seo, Frederick, and Laurent Lesort, opened their first restaurant club, 'Jour et Nuit,' in 2007. Located just steps away from the Plaza Hotel, they completely transformed the 5,000 sqft underground space, creating a classic French-American menu. Managing and operating the venue from front to back, they showcased their exceptional networking, marketing, and promotional skills, setting themselves apart from their peers.
In 2008, the brothers founded 'DUAL Groupe,' a boutique hospitality marketing and promotional company. It was with this venture that they introduced their now-legendary event concept, 'Day & Night.' The original location, 'Merkato 55,' situated in the Meatpacking District, became a phenomenon that swept through the scene. The trend quickly caught on at elite Manhattan venues such as 'Cipriani Downtown,' The Plaza Hotel's 'Oak Room,' and 'Buddha Bar,' where they organized weekly pop-up events for five consecutive years until 2013. Their success led to expansion in the Hamptons, St. Barth's, Art Basel Miami, St. Tropez, Cannes, and Sundance Film Festivals, solidifying their status as international trailblazers in the event and hospitality industry.
In 2010, the duo joined forces with Russian hospitality group 'Ginza Project' to open 'MPD,' a French boîte that made history by earning a Michelin Recommendation while featuring a DJ booth in the main dining room. Notably, major companies like 'Moët Hennessy USA' and 'Red Bull' sought partnerships with the brothers. Building on their success, they conceptualized and launched two more establishments: 'TOY,' an Asian-Fusion restaurant-nightclub at the 'Hotel Gansevoort' in collaboration with Jeffrey Chodorow from 'China Grill Management,' and 'Château Cherbuliez,' a fine dining French restaurant located within the iconic 'Limelight' nightclub venue, formerly owned by Peter Gatien.
In 2013, the Koch twins co-produced their own TV show, "Playing with Fire," in partnership with 'Atlas Media' on the 'E! Network.' The show aired right after the Kardashians and can now be streamed on platforms like Amazon and Apple. During this time, they regularly featured up-and-coming artists, including 'The Chainsmokers,' at their events. Additionally, their success led to the establishment of 'DMK Enterprises,' which took them to Dubai to consult alongside the premier hospitality group 'Pragma / White Label.'
Upon returning to New York in September 2014, the brothers were appointed creative directors at 'Space Ibiza New York,' the city's largest nightclub opening since their earlier venture with 'Pacha' a decade prior.
In 2019, the Koch twins made an appearance on the hit comedy TV series, 'Patriot Act,' hosted by Hasan Minhaj, which is available on Netflix.
Throughout their careers, Derek and Daniel have branded, conceptualized, and operated over a dozen of their own restaurants and nightclubs. They have also provided consultancy services to numerous luxury brands and collaborated with industry influencers, garnering attention in leading publications such as 'The New York Times' and the 'New York Post.'
Today, the brothers remain fully engaged in luxury residential and commercial sales, each taking on distinct roles in different locations. Derek spearheads the sales team at Spire, a luxury high-rise condominium development in downtown Seattle, WA, under 'Polaris Pacific.' Meanwhile, Daniel, a licensed broker with 'eXp Realty,' focuses primarily on commercial sales across multiple states.
As the brothers embark on an ambitious hotel-resort venture, they persistently defy convention as entrepreneurs, harnessing their innovative thinking, astute business acumen, impeccable service-oriented expertise, and extensive two-decade hospitality background to pave the path to success.
Nevertheless, the duo continues to pursue passion projects in filmmaking, technology, and motivational speaking while maintaining their athletic lifestyle in the sport of triathlon with dreams of qualifying for the prestigious Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.