NY Nightlife Veteran Richie Romero Focuses On Staying Humble

Richie Romero Q&A
Author : Max Spruill
May 17, 2022

NY Nightlife Veteran Richie Romero Focuses On Staying Humble

A former partner at Butter Group, Richie Romero was the force behind 1Oak and Up&Down in NYC, who launched New York’s newest club in Times Square, Nebula, which has hosted ZEDD, Steve Aoki, Hot Since 82, Jamies Jones, MK, ZHU, and many more since it’s opening this past October.

Richie was brought in to help navigate the pandemic (April 2020) by founding partner Yang Gao after the space was leased for the club (late 2019). Richie sits down with 6AM to talk about riding the wave of nightlife opening up again post-pandemic.

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Hi Richie! Thanks for talking to 6AM. You are well involved with the New York scene. New York has an extremely competitive nightlife industry. What keeps you motivated? 

I love the strategy in creating different experiences, whether a night out on the town, corporate event, or new party. Dappling in different music genres and crowds and always learning what’s new and what the people want.


What was the most challenging aspect of navigating the pandemic in the nightlife industry?

Being in New York, it was completely on lockdown. Some people started underground parties, but I always played by the laws and new Covid regulations. We had to play by the new rules. It was hard but we weathered the pandemic with this Mindset. Use this time to plan our strategy for when the restrictions would be lifted.


What do you think sets Nebula apart from other venues?

I have never seen an immersive experience like it. Between the visuals, lights and sound, nothing comes to it.


What is the most rewarding part of working in the industry?

The most rewarding part is having an imprint on peoples lives. Whether celebrating a birthday, bachelorette party, or engagement party, it’s always exciting. That’s why I do it.


What do you think differentiates NYC’s nightlife atmosphere from other cities, such as Las Vegas or Miami?

New York is a lot more about the locals and regulars. You have to create relationships. Vegas and Miami, especially, have fewer restrictions and rules so they run on a transient crowd – ones that flew there to escape the new Covid rules.


Tell us about how you first got involved with Nebula.

I met Yang Gao and we really connected. He shared his vision for Nebula. I wanted to help make his vision and dream become a reality.


You’re considered a nightlife veteran; what has been the most memorable moment throughout the years?

It’s hard to pick one memory. I’m blessed to have been able to travel around the world meeting many different people, celebrities, artists, but if I had to pick one… it was to be smoking with Snoop Dogg.

Richie Romero Q&A


What do you think the key to longevity in the nightlife business is?

Being humbled enough to know you have to build a strong and talented team and being able to adapt.


What advice would you give to someone starting off in the industry?

Being humble enough to know you need to build a strong and talented team around you and help them develop without putting a glass ceiling above them. Being able to adapt during regular and challenging times that arise. Always educate, never alienate. Lose the ego and build strong relationships.


Nebula has a truly immersive interior; what is your favorite part of the club design?

My favorite immersive feature at Nebula are the moving LED ceiling panels.

Connect with Richie Romero: Instagram

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