“The Other Koch Brothers…”
- The New York Times
Born entrepreneurs and former D1 athletes on The Ohio State Wrestling Team, identical twin brothers Derek & Daniel Koch moved from Columbus, Ohio to New York City in September 2002 to study filmmaking and have been living in the big apple ever since - building their brand in both the hospitality and real estate industries.
Since 2002, the Koch Twins have been an active force in NYC hospitality, starting as protégés of Philippe Delgrange, Thierry and Bruno Gelromini, Aymeric Clemente, Patrick Cabido, Jean-Baptiste Parvaix, and William Abadie at the celebrated Upper East Side French restaurants, Le Bilboquet and Le Charlot. While studying film at NYU CSPS, the brothers played key roles as marketing directors at In The Buzz in the promotional efforts of NYC’s top nightlife venues such as Pink Elephant, Cain, and Pacha.
Just steps from the Plaza Hotel, the Kochs opened their first restaurant club, Jour et Nuit at the age of 25 with Blake Seo, Frederick, and Laurent Lesort in 2007. Once a private members club, the brothers redesigned and transformed the 5,000 sqft subterranean space entirely, created a classic French-American menu, and managed and operated the venue from front to back of the house. However, it was known their networking, marketing, and promotional efforts would ultimately distinguish them from the rest of the pack.
In 2008, the brothers formed DUAL Groupe, a boutique hospitality marketing and promotional company where they launched their now-legendary event concept, Day & Night. The original location, Merkato 55 in the Meatpacking District, became a scene-changing phenomenon, and the trend caught on at such elite Manhattan venues as Cipriani Downtown, The Plaza Hotel’s Oak Room, and Buddha Bar where they would go on to produce the pop-up every weekend for the next 5 years (2013). Expansion to the Hamptons, St. Barth’s, Art Basel Miami, St. Tropez, Cannes, and Sundance Film Festivals attributed to their success and solidified the brothers as an international firebrand in the event and hospitality business.
In 2010, the duo partnered with Russian hospitality group, Ginza Project to open French boîte MPD - the first restaurant in history to earn a Michelin Recommendation while having a DJ booth in the main dining room. Major companies such as Moët Hennessy USA and Red Bull sought partnerships with DUAL Groupe, who went on to conceptualize and open their next two establishments, Asian-Fusion restaurant-nightclub, TOY, at the Hotel Gansevoort with Jeffrey Chodorow from China Grill Management and fine dining French Restaurant Château Cherbuliez inside Peter Gatien's former land-marked nightclub venue, Limelight.
In 2013, the Kochs co-produced their own reality tv show with Atlas Media on the E! Network “Playing with Fire" - which aired directly after the Kardashians (now streaming on Amazon / Apple). At the same time, up-and-coming artists; The Chainsmokers were performing at their events regularly, and while the brothers had produced well over 300+ events globally; DMK Enterprises was born - sending them to Dubai to consult alongside premier hospitality group, Pragma / White Label. Upon their return in September 2014, the brothers were named creative directors at Space Ibiza New York - the largest nightclub to open in the city since they opened Pacha a decade prior. In 2019, the Kochs were featured on Netflix's hit comedy TV series, Patriot Act (S4.E3) with Hasan Minhaj.
Throughout their careers, the brothers have branded, conceptualized, opened, and operated over a dozen successful restaurants and nightclubs. They have consulted alongside numerous leading-luxury brands and collaborated with some of the industry's top influences while having appeared in a number of leading publications including profile pieces in both The New York Times and the New York Post.
Today, the brothers are fully active in luxury residential and commercial sales; Derek is currently with Polaris Pacific in Seattle, WA - spearheading the sales team at Spire, a luxury high-rise new development condominium downtown, while Daniel is a licensed broker with eXp Realty in NY, VA, GA, and WI mainly focused on commercial sales.
Now, with an ambitious hotel-resort concept on the horizon; the brothers continue to break the mold as entrepreneurs, using their cutting-edge creativity, business savvy, white-glove, client-centric service-industry knowledge, and 20+ years of hospitality experience leading the way.
Nevertheless, the duo continues to pursue passion projects in filmmaking and 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.