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Truman Says

Tastemakers: Steven Durbahn and Johnathan Morr


Photo: Spencer Heyfron

Out's November issue showcases our annual Tastemakers portfolio, which highlights the hippest arbiters of style currently leading the charge at the forefront of the nation's ongoing cultural revolution.

From fashion phenoms to chic restaurateurs to dance company directors, the impeccable taste and sensibility of these men make our lives simpler, prettier, happier, and richer. Today's featured trendsetters are Jonathan Morr and Steven Durbahn:

Jonathan Morr is an expert at being ahead of the curve. Years before modern Asian noodle palaces became all the rage in Manhattan, he launched Republic in Union Square. "When my partners and I signed the lease there, it was way before any Barnes & Noble or Whole Foods," he reminisces. "That area had a lot more to do with prostitution and drugs, but it had a beautiful park with a lot of potential... It was quite obvious to us that there was inevitable change coming to the area." Likewise, before the meatpacking district was safe for the well-washed masses, hipsters were sneaking into his APT on West 13th Street.

He nurtured his mastery of all things cool while managing the restaurant 44 at the Royalton Hotel in Manhattan, and the Blue Door at the Delano Hotel in South Beach, and then used it to create the sushi chain Bond Street and reinvent the Townhouse Hotel in Miami. His lounge ventures include the exclusive A60 and ABH rooftop retreats atop the Thompson Hotels in SoHo and Beverly Hills, respectively. His current projects include a Mexico City hotel and Stand, an upscale burger chain launched in New York City's West Village.

Steven Durbahn has been with Morr since his Republic days, when he was the general manager at the constantly buzzing joint. He went on to oversee the openings of the New York, Miami, and Beverly Hills outposts of Bond Street. He'll continue to manage the franchise from Los Angeles, and is already eyeing Las Vegas for expansion.

-- CHRIS ROVZAR

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