An Innovative Chat With Stephen Brandman

A version of this article first appeared in The Independent Newspaper. Read more about #EverythingEastEnd here


In July of 2018 The Spur hosted an inSPURation Dining event to showcase the innovative space to industry VIPs in a setting that’s both intimate and avant garde.

Kicking off the dining series of 2018 was a night dedicated to those in the hospitality industry, led by veteran hotelier and co-founder of Journal Hotels, Stephen Brandman.

Brandman’s experience in the hospitality industry spans over 30 years, including co-founding Thompson and Commune Hotels. His latest endeavor, Journal Hotels, includes a collection of The Hollywood Roosevelt, Two Bunch Palms, Ambassador Chicago, Mondrian Park Avenue, and hotel affiliates of Hotel San Francisco, The Standard High Line, and, coming later this year, the Hotel Clark LA and Trinity Hotel.

“Innovation comes in a couple of different ways,” he said. “There are things that, from a technology standpoint, are very interesting, because of the impact millennials have. We’re putting creative spaces into our hotels, things like co-work spaces. We understand that people like to work in small communities,” explained Brandman. Lobby spaces once set the tone for a traditional cocktail. Now, they’re setting a tone for communal environments.


“What we find interesting about communal spaces is that people create the artwork of the hotel. We’re trying to open the doors for that. People really enjoy being out in the public and working together. It creates an environment where they feel like they’re doing more than working, they’re living.”

Owning a home in East Hampton for the past 12 years, the Hamptons have turned into a year-round destination for Brandman, citing Nick & Toni’s as his go-to restaurant. “They’ve created an environment where everyone feels like a local,” he said. Brandman views the East End as a place to party or relax, a location for every season.

“We look forward to continuing these dinners throughout the year and bringing business leaders to see what Southampton has to offer them in terms of food, lifestyle, and entertainment,” said Ashley John Heather. “As we say at The Spur — come here to work, play, and learn. The more business leaders from outside the Hamptons can see the opportunities here to grow businesses and enjoy the lifestyle of the East End, the better for all of us.”

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