The success of business people who dropped out of college or decided to forgo the expected route entirely pique the interest of many. These “phenomenons” give hope and encouragement to people like Will Makris, who drove a Tropicana truck early in his early career and conducted other miscellaneous jobs to make a living. Makris was enamored with affluent individuals, particularly those in the hospitality industry, who seemingly had it all. He watched from afar, taking note of the gravitational pull towards these figures. With status comes perks; these individuals breeze through the lines outside clubs, bars, and restaurants, immediately escorted to prime tables featuring exceptional service. Makris’ aspirations for this lifestyle only grew.
Being the confident and energetic conversationalist,Makris found common ground with just about anyone. He remained the breath of fresh air in a demanding industry. With an itch for success, the outsider among the elites who inhabit New York City began to observe, internalize, and strategically replicate their process, with his own flair. Eventually, the hospitality industry was unable to ignore his charming presence. Makris worked his way up in various nightlife groups, like Provocateur, Butter, and Tao Group, transitioning into a restaurant co-owner for Lola Taverna with partner Cobi Levi, Broken Coconut with partner Scott Sartiano, and lounges such as Socialista with partner Maggio Cipriani.
“I dove into every aspect of the industry to learn the maximum amount that I could, and the learning process pushed me to try making it on my own,” Makris said. “I had learned from the best, and I figured through all my experience, that I could contribute more and be more in the business that I had grown so fond of.”
Makris gained the respect of industry leaders while racking a network of celebrities, athletes, and socialites, ultimately creating a promising notoriety. With top investors and restaurant groups beckoning to be in business with him, Makris gained a following of his own. His blue-collar background positioned him to observe the industry divergently, and his adaptability mindset has aided further success, particularly during the pandemic and economic downfall.
“Lola Taverna opened up in October of 2019, we had to survive the winter, and then corona hit, and it was tough,” Makris said. “My partner Cobi Levi rallied the team together while I used my marketing skills to get people back out on the town, with safety precautions, of course. When everyone closed, we stayed open because we wanted our name to be something constantly talked about; we went gung-ho and stayed on the radar. When things got progressively better, we continued to build on the momentum, and now we have grown exponentially.”
Grinding through adversity propelled Makris’ career and stabilized his position among the elite both within and outside the industry. He favourably connects with people, stimulates morale, and orchestrates a memorable experience. Makris’ passion lies in developing businesses associated with the lives of its customers. Having an in with New York’s finest has triggered this entrepreneur’s instinct to dive further into exclusive hospitality.
“My partner Scott Sartiano and I will be opening Zero Bond, a 20,000 square foot high-end, private club,” Makris said. “We plan to have a very exclusive venue for our members. We have reached out to our top clients within our network to get them on board and are hopeful to open this October.”
Alongside his partner Levi, Makris will be expanding his beloved restaurants Lola Taverna and Little Prince, into increasingly elaborate and spectacular venues. His attention is divided equally to ensure the experience speaks for itself. With eager customers and socialites ready to take a seat at his table, Makris is determined to deliver, striking while the iron is hot.
(Syndicated press content)