10 Questions with James Morrissey, Showrunner of The VNYL

Photo: VNYL

James Morrissey is a good guy to know. And not just because he owns and runs an dance mansion of a vintage bar with four floors + a champagne garden in East Village. Or because we’re hosting our NYC Issue release party at his aforementioned venue this Friday night. No, James is a good guy to know because—like most good guys to know—he is a doer, one that takes the idea (the easy part) and brings it to life.

In the spirit of getting to know the man behind the curtains of one of our (and soon-to-be your) favorite venues, we served him a stout ten pack questionnaire. Unsurprisingly, he crushed it + reminded us that we may be failing at life if  Jay Z + Kanye’s “Watch the Throne” isn’t listed in the album drop-down in our iPhone music.

1. What first influenced your decision to jump into the nightlife world?

Selling tickets to an “Under 18 Foam Party” in Dublin when I was 16. I learned that I was able to sell an experience to people… even if it was only just foam and a DJ!

2. Can you give me your three favorite vintage pieces in your bar?

  1. The vinyl record collection, in particular the Thin Lizzy Records
  2. Gold disco balls
  3. David Hicks wallpaper
The Mezzanine Room. Photo: The VNYL

The Mezzanine Room. Photo: The VNYL

3. Worst bar etiquette move you’ve ever witnessed?

A girl puked on my suit before…well it was my dad’s suit. I was 17 and probably shouldn’t have been in the bar, so I couldn’t complain.

4. A little birdie told us that you enjoy spending time on the East End. Do you remember the first time you ventured out?

I generally like to get out of the city at the weekends, especially in the summer months. I first went out when I was 21 and slept on the floor at The Memory Motel… It has certainly changed a lot since then!

5. Favorite song to dance to after midnight?

“Murder to Excellence” by Jay Z and Kanye West (Watch The Throne).

The Black Rose Room. Photo: The VNYL

The Black Rose Room. Photo: The VNYL

6. Local bar in New York we’d find you at if not at VNYL? One on the East End?

In NYC, L’Esquina. On the East End, Ruschmeyer’s.

7. Drink of choice?

Negroni or a lager.

8. VNYL has four floors—can you describe each floor in one word?

  • The Lion’s Den — Experimental
  • The Main Room — Elegant
  • Mezzanine — Sophisticated
  • Black Rose Room — LIT
  • Champagne Garden — Chill
The Champagne Garden. Photo: The VNYL

The Champagne Garden. Photo: The VNYL

9. What’s ahead for VNYL? You guys having a Thanksgiving dinner? Christmas party?

Our Music Director Adrian Grenier is hosting a DJ set from The Skins next week for Thanksgiving Eve (Weds Nov 23rd). It will be a cool night. Lot of cool people passing through.

10. You can have one person, dead or alive, perform here on the biggest Friday night of the year. Who is it and why?

Phil Lynott from Thin Lizzy. Unfortunately Phil has passed, but he represented a movement of “cool” that nobody from Ireland has ever done before. For the cool ones that are still alive, they’ll be here!

For more visuals from the next level venue, head over to the VNYL Instagram. Thanks James + Kate.