I vividly remember descending the stairs to Tenjune for the first time in 2006, mostly because the artwork adorning the top of the stairwell was comprised of tabloid newspaper covers and gossip columns, one of which I wrote for at the time. And, given the boldface names that routinely perched atop Tenjune’s banquettes and hung out in the DJ booth, it wasn’t long before the New York club’s name appeared in our column. Often.
There were the parties where it was commonplace to bump into Britney Spears, Mariah Carey, Heidi Klum, Jeremy Piven, Edward Norton or Seth Rogan. Or the time we ended up at Eli Manning’s table following the New York Giants’ Super Bowl victory. The EMM Group-owned venue was the place to be for the first few years it was open. And on its recent fifth anniversary, owners Eugene Remm and Mark Birnbaum had it packed to the rafters once again. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmello Anthony and more all turned up to catch Swizz Beatz rock the turn tables and relive the glory days of years past.
New York Knicks player Carmelo Anthony and Swizz Beatz at Tenjune in New York City.
Danny Volk, EMM’s Director of Operations, admits it’s no easy task to keep a nightlife brand fresh after half a decade of operations. “We’ve stuck to our principles and systems to keep Tenjune on-brand,” he says, elaborating that they’re still booking “top DJs in New York City and our internal promotional team is working as hard as it did the first day we opened.”
Additionally, the $400,000 facelift earlier this year meant the room physically looks newer (among the mainstays voided from the room was the newspaper montage in the entrance). “The renovation has really given Tenjune a breath of fresh air and was extremely well-received by our old regulars, who we now see returning more often,” Volk shares.
While the layout of the room was physically the same — a horseshoe set of banquettes wrapping around a sunken dance floor in the main room, and a VIP room on the other side of the wraparound bar — drastic cosmetic changes were made to the elements within the venue. The VIP area is now blanketed in a sea of purple, and a massive mirror was added across from the main bar, to which the ladies often flock.
Ask Volk how the clientele has changed over the past five years and his response is honest: “We’ve had to loosen up our door in order to keep it going, but our promo team is garnering new regulars as well as fresh faces to keep the party going,” he says. “The Tenjune name has spread all over the world, and our European outreach has grown significantly. Today, walk in and you’ll see a group from Europe in one corner, a 25th birthday party in another and a bachelorette party tearing up the dance floor.”
The stream of celebrities and special performances and events always help an establishment endure, but at the end of the day, people return to nightlife venues time again because they enjoy a level of service, something Volk says EMM Group pays particularly close attention to. “We have great customer service and follow up, which means we’re getting clients back more often,” he says. “Also helping us sustain and thrive is a consistent product, coupled with an open format music venue which is tough to find in the Meatpacking District. I expect the next five years to be just as great as the first five.”