New York nightlife baron David Rabin is the owner of a handful of bars, clubs, and restaurants including Union Bar, Double Seven, Los Dados, and the now-shuttered Lotus. He's also the president of the New York Nightlife Association.
Syosset native Rabin attended Tufts and Columbia Law School before working as an entertainment lawyer. He later turned to the nightlife biz, teaming up with college classmate Will Regen in the early 1990s to take over the Chelsea supper club Rex. In 1993, he decamped to Russia to open a club overlooking Red Square in Moscow called Manhattan Express. But by the late '90s, Rabin and Regan had turned their attention back to New York, partnering with promoters Jeffrey Jah and Mark Baker to open Lotus, one of the first hotspots in the meatpacking district. It quickly emerged as one of the hottest venues in town and Rabin and Regen used the proceeds to expand their nightlife empire. Today their company, 3Sixty Hospitality, owns a collection of venues in New York (Union Bar, Double Seven) and Las Vegas's V-Bar inside the Venetian Hotel. In summer 2007, they made a foray into the restaurant business with the opening of Mexican restaurant Los Dados in the meatpacking district space that formerly housed Meet. In June 2008, Lotus closed its doors after an eight-year run. The duo are now working with new partners Mark Birnbaum and Eugene Remm to open a new club in the space.
On the side
Although Rabin is best known for his nightlife mini-empire, he also maintains a profile on the scene thanks to his position as the head of the New York Nightlife Association, which counts many of the city's bar/club owners as members. The group lobbies on behalf of the industry and was one of the most vocal opponents of Mayor Bloomberg's smoking ban in 2003: Rabin and his NYNA colleagues organized "Can the Ban" rallies outside City Hall and spent months actively—and futilely—trying to defeat the measure. (Funnily enough, as a college student in the early '80s, Rabin led a campaign to create nonsmoking sections in campus dining halls.) Rabin hasn't always been such a hero to his fellow club owners: In 2002, he raised hackles after ratting out nightspots Pangaea, Serafina, and Rehab to the city for allowing dancing despite their lack of official cabaret licenses. Critics claimed that Rabin was taking advantage of his NYNA position to shut down the competition.
In 1997, Rabin married former Elite model Nicole "Nicki" Lorenzo. The couple and their son, Tyler, live on the Upper West Side, in the West 80s.