Brett met Stephen back in 2005 through a mutual friend that has since passed. Over countless backyard BBQ’s, nights out at NY’s best watering holes, and a mutual love for all things ridiculous, these two forged out a solid and life-long friendship that has consistently grown, but hardly matured. The name of the Bar comes from a woman that the two “gentlemen” both “dated”, aptly named “Rochelle”. About 6 months back, when we were in our initial concepts, Stephen was stuck on a name, and kept saying it should be something that connects us, and our skills. Brett responded, “well, I can think of 100 right now, but let’s leave Rochelle out of it.” And so, a legend was born…
Brett and Stephen’s mission was simple. Take away the airs of pretense and take the bar business back to it’s basic roots; Great cocktails, delicious in their simplicity, hearty food not to turn off the masses but instead encourage their palates, and a place you’d be happy to come not just on a Friday night, but also a Monday. With the former 205 space as it’s backdrop, it was a no-brainer to continue a 25 year nightlife legacy in a historic space. Teaming up with Delshah was a natural fit, and one of the best working relationships of recent memory. Brett and Steve hope to take their expected success with Rochelles and grow not only within the company, but as well the city that they’ve learned to love, and have made such a good name for themselves.
Brett David is a 10+ years Hospitality veteran, Graduate of CUNY Baruch, and a life-long NY’er. His true loves are serving people, his dog (Napoleon), tattoo culture, and the city he loves. His restaurant resume includes stints as the GM of Sons of Essex, and most recently, Maitre D’ at EMM Group’s The General. Prior to that, he had a successful 8 year run with his own Model Waitstaff and full service catering company; Brett David Staffing. He’s been involved and associated with the latest and greatest, most notably as a personal waiter/butler to Anna Wintour from 2004-2009. Brett’s keen service skills, attention to detail, and leadership abilities have guided him to such accolades as leading the CFDA and Met Costume Gala for several years, and taking the lead role in charge of Chelsea Clinton’s Wedding. A true New Yorker with a servant’s heart, the undertaking of Rochelle’s was the next logical step for an already impressive career.
Stephen Yorsz has been in the bar and restaurant business for over 15 years. He started in the NY nightlife scene in 1996 at the infamous Marylou’s while he attended NYU’s Stern School of Business. After a brief stint as a financial advisor, Stephen came back to his true passion; the bar/nightclub business. Over the years Steven bartended at many of New York’s hottest joints, including Le ‘Souk, HOME, Guest House, Boom, Gemini Lounge, STK, The Inn, and Citrine, just to name a few. In 2008 Stephen took his bar and restaurant knowledge and focused it specifically on whiskey, becoming Maker’s mark brand ambassador for NY. HE continued his work in the spirits industry, working on such notable brands as Templeton Rye, Fernet Branca, Wild Turkey, and most recently Alibi American Whiskey. Stephen’s vast knowledge of spirits, especially whiskey, has afforded him the opportunities of teaching classes and seminars on the subject for the Culinary Institute of America, Whiskey Live, Whiskey Fest, and Tales of the Cocktail.