Have you ever wanted to find a restaurant in your neighborhood where the decor is just as stylish as the food and you could eat unforgettable dishes while you chill with your friends? Even though this might sound like every other typical new NYC restaurant, there’s something truly special about Cafe Clover. With their delectable healthy meals that are made with locally-sourced produce that evoke quality flavors, this West Village spot has a menu that will surely open your eyes (and taste buds) to what healthy cuisine should actually taste like. And it seems that one of the partner’s of Cafe Clover agrees…
Kyle Hotchkiss Carone knows a thing or two when it comes to restaurants, bars and hotels. He has been in the hospitality industry for quite some time. Under his supervision, he establishes the branding, design, and concept side ideation. Not only has he co-founded the group event tech company, Host Committee, but he has also worked on impressive projects for The Standard, The Setai and Cole’s. Now he is one of the managing partners for Cafe Clover and creative director and founder for Partners & Alchemy. Seriously, Kyle has done it all.
We met up with Kyle over at Cafe Clover to chat about his career, his favorite dish at Cafe Clover, and his go-to spot for date night. Meet the king of the hospitality industry in NYC, Kyle Hotchkiss Carone.
Somewhere between New York, Mexico City, the British Virgin Islands, and on a Delta plane.
Next Travel Destination:
Go-to New York Spot to get a good classic cocktail:
Who do you look up to when it comes to style?
I pretty much whole heartedly trust the buyers at Mr. Porter.
Team burger or taco:
A place for a date night recs?
Tell us a little bit about how you got into hospitality and became a Managing Partner at Cafe Clover.
I started my career in hotels, as an 18-year-old intern for Andre Balazs. I made it a point to try to work with all of the people in the New York hospitality world that I looked up to and I pretty much checked them all off; Ian Schrager and Ben Pundole, Sean MacPherson, Jason Pomeranc, Nick Jones, the list goes on. At some point I wanted to do my own thing, and teamed up with David Rabin to create something special in the West Village that had a real point of view and could make a mark on the culinary scene here.
You studied African American Studies while you were a student at Princeton University. How do you feel that has enhanced your hospitality career?
A big part of hospitality is transporting people from their every day. At Princeton, I looked at the ways that travel affected African American self-identity, and I think what I learned is that travel affects everyone’s self-identity. It is an experience that provides both perspective and escape, and when I am thinking about the restaurants or hotels I am working on, I want to figure out a way to do that for customers. We want you to be completely transported but we also want you to be conscious of what you are eating, where your food came from, or who made the bed you are sleeping in.
Must-have dish at Cafe Clover?
While we are all about positive here at TTS, we would like to know what was the worst advice you ever received and why you decided to not listen to it?
I try not to follow the notion of blocking out the negative. You learn a lot from people being honest, and if that honesty is negative then it’s still worth hearing.
Cafe Clover feels like a neighborhood dining spot instead of the nightlife ventures you have run in the past. How did you guys comes up with the aesthetic and why did you decide to go down this different route?
One of the reasons we started Cafe Clover is because we felt there was nowhere to go eat food that is good for you in a beautiful setting. The aesthetic was meant to reflect the menu — light and airy, unpretentious and approachable. I don’t like when places try to be something they are not — this is very much the restaurant I want to eat in in the West Village in 2016. It doesn’t hark back to another era, its not trying to sexy or theme-y. It’s just about being beautiful and comfortable.
Tell us a bit about your nightlife past: do you have any wild stories you can share from those days?
I only dabbled in nightlife and at the end of the day, I wasn’t very good at it – I didn’t have the stamina. When the wild things were going down I was already in bed.
Words of wisdom to people trying to get into the hospitality business:
I’m an unapologetic millenial. If you have a great idea and people that believe in you, make it happen! Don’t wait around.
Photography by Vanessa Granda