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A new nightclub has opened in the space formerly occupied by the VIP-dense Hyde, famous for its exclusivity and steel-faced bouncers, and there’s a reason you haven’t seen pictures floating around on Instagram Stories from inside the club, despite the fact that its opening nights hosted such stars as Kid Cudi and Tom Holland: No cellphones are allowed.
The quintessentially Hollywood venue, called Offsunset, from co-founders Stafford Schlitt, Shyon Keoppel, Gunner Safron, and Costas Charalambous officially opened last Thursday and continued the celebration two days later on Saturday, Sept. 25.
“In general, social media and all of these apps have taken away the living in the moment and being present side of nightlife, and for me that was super important when conceptualizing the space,” says Schlitt. He and his team spend their nights at the club introducing tables to each other, hoping to connect “like minds” in order for connections and conversations to bloom. “We want to use this space as a connector,” he says.
The “Off” in the lounge’s name is an acronym for “only friends and family” as a nod to its uber-exclusivity: cellphones and photographs are forbidden, making it impossible to bring the magic of its interior onto social media. Each Thursday and Saturday night, the co-founders and their team of hospitality-driven entrepreneurs collaborate on a very intentional guest list, which is designed based on which mix of industry and industry-adjacent people would make the most diverse “salad” (as Schlitt puts it) on any given night.
For instance, over the course of its two opening nights, on Sept. 23 and Sept. 25, the venue welcomed The Chainsmokers, NBA players Dwight Howard and Ben Simmons, Demi Lovato, models Jordun Love, Presley Gerber, Josephine Skriver and Serena Kerrigan, among others. On Thursday, Diplo performed, while on Saturday, DJs Benny Blanco and Cashmere Cat were the surprise musical acts. From models to photographers, entrepreneurs to celebrities, the mission behind Offsunset is to cultivate a space that offers a private lounge experience to those privileged enough to be invited.
“We wanted a small space with a highly curated, like-minded crowd that could bring back that Hollywood feeling. And when I say Hollywood, it’s not just about the celebrities, it’s about the people behind the scenes as well. The producers, the creatives and the stylists. We wanted a space people recognized that could bring back that legendary feel,” Schlitt says.
The DJ booth is situated to the side so music is never the main focus, though Schlitt and his partners encourage musician friends to perform at Offsunset pretty much whenever they want to, whether it’s to test out a new song for a small crowd or if they’re available on a random Thursday or Saturday night. Scheduling the performances, Schlitt says, is “really very candid, it can just be a simple text if you’re in town,” adding: “We leave the DJ booth open for any of our friends who want to jump on.”
The atmosphere inside, attests Schlitt, is comfortable and warm, “like someone’s living room,” and is designed with an eye toward illustrating the transition from the old Hollywood of yore to the one that exists today. (An image of Los Angeles-born model Hailey Clauson, reinterpreting an iconic shot of Brigitte Bardot, is one example.)
Cocktails like a tequila mule are available at the venue’s half-moon bar, and 10 open booths — five on each side — invite free-flowing conversations, uninhibited by a turned back or a tall piece of furniture.
Says Schlitt: “It’s important to me that people leave with a great feeling of going out because the whole point of going out back in the day was not to get social media pictures — it was to meet new people, make new friends, develop new projects, and just have a good time and let loose.”
Offsunset sits right next door to the now-shuttered Greenblatt’s Deli, so make other plans for post-club eats now that it’s closed.
Sept. 30, 1 p.m. This story has been updated to include all four co-founders names.
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