Shimon Bokovza’s restaurant concepts pair triumphant design with innovative, critically-acclaimed cuisine. A creative visionary, Bokovza’s ability to create multi-sensory brand experiences has made him an industry trend-setter for decades.
As with everything he touches, Bokovza started big: At age 21, he established and built Israel’s first and only ski resort, Neve Ativ – which still flourishes today. After graduating from Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration, Bokovza began building a series of memorable restaurant brands in Philadelphia in the 80’s including Harvest, Apropos and the Amazon Club – the first outdoor dining/dancing spot along the Delaware.
Bokovza opened the Amazon Club in New York City in the early 90s, bringing the jungle-inspired design, Brazilian soundtrack and al fresco experience to a formerly abandoned Hudson River pier. The Amazon Village NYC boasted Hudson River views of the World Trade Center, a manmade sand beach, two volleyball courts, a golf driving range, mini golf course, marina and open-air dining and dancing. In 1993 he brought the concept to the Hamptons with the Amazon Sag Harbor.
Bokovza opened the Kit Kat Klub in 1998, a theater-nightclub in Times Square alongside partners Danielle Billera and Matthew Johnson. Featuring burlesque entertainment and Weimar Republic-inspired décor, the Kit Kat Klub sprung to life immediately following performances of Sam Mendes’ four-time Tony Award-winning Roundabout Theater Cabaret revival.
In 1999, Bokovza opened the first SUSHISAMBA in New York City. Under Bokovza’s creative direction, the Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian-inspired restaurant has evolved into one of the most sought after destinations for cuisine, culture, music and design, with locations in Miami (2001), Las Vegas (2008), London (2012) and Amsterdam (2017).
From 2007 to 2011 Bokovza created Graffiti Gone Global, an art exhibition running parallel to Art Basel Miami Beach celebrating the world’s most notorious graffiti artists. “Bringing art to SUSHISAMBA is something that is a natural evolution in our whole concept and experience,” says Bokovza. “We would only call upon the best talent to execute a dream that was sparked with the inception of Art Basel.”
Bokovza’s other concepts include award winning Duck & Waffle (2012) and Duck & Waffle Local (2017) in London. With several new locations and exciting brands currently in development, Bokovza’s new ventures are sure to keep both guests and tastemakers alike captivated, excited and inspired.