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A Fashionable Q&A with…
Restaurant Owner Zach Erdem

In NewsWhistle’s weekly question-and-answer series, Clara Morgan speaks with some of the world’s top beauty and style influencers and finds out more about their lives and career.

This week, Clara speaks with Zach Erdem, Owner of 75 Main in Southampton. Recognized as one of Long Island’s best brunch spots by numerous outlets including USA Today Travel’s 10best.com, Dan’s Papers, and theculturetrip.com,  75 Main has been a favorite among locals, visitors, and celebrities alike for more than 30 years. Owner Zach Erdem, a rising restaurateur, has transformed the Hamptons summer dining staple into a year-round restaurant and lounge with an expertly crafted menu, sophisticated decor, and the addition of post-dinner entertainment, maintaining the perfect balance between the classic style of the Hamptons and the allure of New York City nightlife.

Erdem immigrated to the United States in 2002, and was quickly enamored by the Hamptons and began bartending at the first restaurant he stopped to dine at – 75 Main. In the years that followed, he traveled all over the world, before returning to Southampton in 2010 to fulfill his dream of taking ownership of 75 Main—a dream that was born more than nine years earlier, when he first set foot on the East End.

For more information on 75 Main, visit: www.75main.com

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Zach Erdem

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1. What drew you to open a restaurant in the Hamptons as opposed to New York City?

The Hamptons to me is home. It is the location where my journey here in America first began. 75 Main in Southampton took a chance on me and opened up the doors for opportunities I would have never imagined having. Eventually I would love to open a place in New York City, the liveliness of Manhattan has always sparked my interest.

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2. What was it about Southampton that led you to move there?

As well-known as Southampton is, it is still very quaint. There is such a welcomed feeling for everyone that enters the village. There is so much charm and charisma that you seldom find anywhere else, and that’s what makes Southampton so special and why I am so proud for it to be where I first opened 75 Main.

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3. If you could meet anyone in the world, who do you want to meet? And why?

I would want to meet the man who wrote the first cookbook. I think taking the time out to write recipes and share your stories about food and life with the world is such an honorable thing to do. You’re not only learning about the people you meet day to day but you’re giving others all over the world the chance to learn about cultures through cooking, I think that’s amazing.

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4. Who influences your personal style?

I don’t think it’s a person that influences my style, I think it’s all the places I have traveled to. When I travel outside or New York, let’s say to Paris, or Rome, even back to Turkey, I always come back with new accessories and products I’ve purchased along the way.

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5. Proudest career moment?

I have to say my proudest career moment was signing my lease for 75 Main. The thrill of knowing how far I’ve come, and how much more there is to go has never left my heart or mind.

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6. If you were not the owner of 75 Main, what would you want to be?

If I didn’t own 75 Main, I truly believe I would still be an entrepreneur. There is no greater feeling then making something your own and being able to share it with the world.

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7. Where do you see yourself in five years?

In five years I would love to have my own brand of restaurants, 75 Main is just the first step to the bigger picture and the dream I have created for myself. There is so much more coming.

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8. Any advice for others entering your profession?

It is important to always remember that a successful restaurant cannot lose the true value of hospitality. Customers are your friends and family whether you’ve met them many times before or for the first time. Never lose the passion for it all, the service, the food, the atmosphere–every detail is important to the growth and development of an establishment.

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9. Best international dining experience you’ve ever had?

The best international experience I’ve had was in Paris, I was at Hotel Costes with my brother and friend. In the middle of our dinner a bottle of Cristal champagne was sent over from someone who had said they recognize me from New York. This kind of appreciation is the reason I keep working hard every day and the reason I stay so passionate about what I do.

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10. Favorite vacation spot?

My favorite vacation spot would have to be Paris. The aura and atmosphere allows you to feel lost in bliss, I love that feeling.

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11. Three items that can always be found in your briefcase?

A notepad to write down my thoughts, ideas, and experiences.

A photo of my family back in Turkey, for times when I get too overwhelmed–it is my special weapon to remember where I came from and why I am doing all that I’m doing.

And of course my converter for my charger, you never know where life will take you!

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12. What song can you listen to on repeat?

I love music, I think it’s a very important part of the hospitality experience. For me personally, I like the sounds of the ocean when I fall asleep–it may not be a number one song on the radio, but it’s music to me.

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Images Courtesy of Zach Erdem