In the pantheon of cool, dream level jobs, club owner and night life tastemaker has got to be up there. I got the chance to chat with someone in this incredibly exciting industry about how he attained his dream job. Meet Patrick Marzouk, one of Toronto’s most innovative Nightlife Entrepreneurs.
Patrick has been a staple in Toronto’s nightlife and hospitality industry for years now. He’s one of the folks behind spots like Figures and Regulars, incredibly unique and beautiful spaces that feel as open and welcoming as they do exciting and exclusive. It’s a challenging yet exciting industry that takes someone special to succeed in, which is why we asked Patrick to share his story, in the hopes that someone out there may be inspired to do the same.
What is your official title? Do you have one?
How did you get into your current line of work?
My brother, Nader, and I created one of Toronto’s first social media platforms, MeetMeInTO.com, years ahead of Facebook, and grew it into a nightlife and hospitality marketing company. From there, we noticed a lack of leading edge nightlife and event options in Mississauga, so I decided to create one. In 2011, we opened &Company Resto Bar, an 11,000 square foot restaurant and event venue in the heart of Mississauga, offering residents a unique entertainment and dining experience without having to leave the city. &Co remains a top evening entertainment and dining establishment in Mississauga, to this day.
I love to spot trends before they hit the mainstream, and knowing that people in Toronto are seeking unique experiences as part of their entertainment, you need to offer them an unforgettable evening that keeps them coming back for more. So I had a vision to create something completely different and fun that had never been done before in the city – we opened the first superhero-inspired intimate supper club, Figures Toronto (rated as a top Toronto restaurant by Forbes).
In 2018, we were itching to launch yet another hospitality business, and saw an opportunity that came up at King/Bathurst in Toronto. So, we opened Regulars Bar, a space that we completely transformed – within three months – taking inspiration from the gambling halls and casinos of the 1920s to Hollywood’s Golden Age, mixed with the edginess of West Queen West in Toronto. It was quite the challenge, but we worked tirelessly to get the space ready within such a short period of time, and it was great to work with the design team who helped me bring my vision to life. In fact, Regulars’ design recently won an International Property Award in Interior Design. We’ve also received a Diner’s Choice award, as well as accreditation by Best Bar None for 2019.
In between, I have launched a fashion line, a personal grooming company, a construction company, and we have invested in some A&Ws across the GTA.
What’s great about the work I get to do is that I can bring together my big passions – art, fashion, entertainment, basketball, and food. You’ll see elements of all these things within my businesses.
Is this a job you attained or did you create it for yourself?
For me, I definitely see my businesses as more than just a job – they’re an extension of who I am. There’s no “start” or “finish” – we just keep going. In any case, I don’t know if you could ever find a role like this without creating it for yourself!
If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
There’s no doubt that I would be running a business of some kind, something that would give me a good challenge and allow me to flex my entrepreneurial muscle. I’m generally interested in fashion, entertainment, art, basketball, and the food industry, so I’m sure it would be a business that falls under one (or many) of those categories.
What accomplishment/achievement are you most proud of?
At this point, I’d say my biggest accomplishment is building Regulars Bar from start to finish, from both a structural and operational standpoint, within only three months. We’ve only been open for just over a year, and yet we’ve had some of the world’s greatest athletes, musicians, and actors come through (and often frequent when they’re in town), we’re known for our stellar food, fun cocktails and amazing atmosphere. You never know who you’re going to see at Regulars Bar!
What advice do you have for someone who wants to find their dream job but hasn’t yet?
Your dream job will surface as long as you keep giving your 100% at everything you do. Don’t quit when times get tough – you need to persevere, work hard, and stay committed to your vision. I find that life has a funny way of working out for you when you give it your all.
Anyone who is a successful entrepreneur can attest to the importance of turning criticism, and naysayers’ attitudes into positive energy. A key part to success is not about how hard life hits you, it’s about how hard you hit back. If you can take negativity and use it as fuel, you’ll be unstoppable.