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Scott Sartiano

How did the owner of Zero Bond score a seat on the Met’s board? Probably not based on his resume, which we got our hands on.


  • Co-owner of the restaurant Butter
  • Co-owner of a New York City nightclub empire that included 1Oak
  • Member of Manhattan’s Community Board 2


  • Owner of Zero Bond and Sartiano’s at the Mercer Hotel
  • Mayoral appointee to the board of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

No nightclub embodies Eric Adams’s New York City more than Zero Bond. Its four-figure initiation fee and 8,000-person waitlist means it’s exclusive and for people who are rich but not “Succession” rich, the people who still need to make deals and look for angles. They’re impressed by the club’s Warhols, and the fingerprint scanner required to enter a private dining room covered in Baccarat crystal. Sometimes, there are celebrities. Eating flatbread pizzas in this glorified SkyMiles lounge in NoHo, anything feels possible. (Not everyone agrees. “I’d rather get drunk on the street,” one art scenester who’s partied at Zero Bond told Artnet last year.)

Eric Adams loves Zero Bond so much, he held his 2021 Election Day victory party there. The club’s owner, Scott Sartiano, took the mic that night and introduced the mayor-elect.

“Now we finally have a leader to lead us to the light at the end of the tunnel,” Sartiano said. “The 110th mayor of New York City, the best—Mr. Adams.” The mayor-elect then began reciting a portion of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.”

Scott Sartiano and Eric Adams attend the Mayor Elect Eric Adams Celebration Party at Zero Bond on November 02, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Haute Living)

Sartiano seems remarkably low-key for a guy who has dated Ashley Olsen and Ashlee Simpson and Anne Hathaway; whose former nightclub was immortalized in a Jay-Z lyric; and who married a model at a wedding ceremony attended by Kim Kardashian, Kanye, Lance Bass, and John Stamos. “He’s a pretty private person,” one Zero Bond employee told Hell Gate last year.

While Sartiano, who graduated from Columbia in 1997, once had political aspirations (“I’d love to run for office one day, maybe the New York City Council,” he told the school’s alumni magazine in 2004), he fell into a career in nightlife. His ascent began in the early aughts, thanks to the celebrity-stocked, velvet-roped, expensive, cheesy-as-hell nightclubs he ran with his business partner Richie Akiva (their most notable establishment, 1Oak, which closed last year, was an acronym for “1 of a kind”). By 2014, their empire was reportedly pulling in $50 million a year. The business partnership ended around 2017, and Sartiano would later sue Akiva for $15 million, claiming that his old partner was keeping him in the dark about how much money they were actually making.

In 2020, Sartiano opened Zero Bond, in a former Brooks Brothers store. “I felt like New Yorkers wanted to have a bit more space when they’re socializing and a bit more control over who’s in the room,” Sartiano told the Robb Report.

How Eric Adams came to find Zero Bond is a bit murkier. The Brooklyn borough president started hanging out there in 2021 while he was running for mayor. The Daily Beast reported that Adams was a frequent guest of Zero Bond member Ronn Torrossian, though Torrossian recently said he doesn’t hang out with Adams anymore.  

Adams is not a dues-paying Zero Bond member, but that doesn’t seem to be a problem. He’s been regularly spotted there throughout the first two years of his administration. In July 2022, as Adams was angling for Madison Square Garden to host the 2024 Democratic National Convention, the mayor threw a cocktail party at Zero Bond for the selection committee, according to records obtained by Hell Gate. Former Knicks players attended (“John Starks is confirmed, Allan Houston is TBD,” one MSG employee wrote in a party-planning email chain) and the City’s official tourism bureau picked up the $6,098 tab. It didn’t work; the committee chose Chicago.

As Hell Gate reported last year, during the first two weeks of his mayoralty, Adams issued a veto—the first in eight years—that directly benefited property owners like Sartiano. Adams’s veto struck down a law that would have forced owners of downtown artist lofts who are not artists to pay a fee into a downtown artist fund. Months after the veto, Sartiano and his wife purchased one of those artist lofts for $3.45 million, and thanks to Adams’s action, avoided hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees and fines. Adams has denied ever speaking to Sartiano about the law. Sartiano’s representative has not responded to our requests for comment.

Around this same time in 2022, Adams decided he would appoint Sartiano to a seat on the board of directors of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This raised eyebrows, because usually these mayoral appointments go to upper-crust muckety mucks, or people with actual experience in dealing with art. How did Mayor Adams come to his decision?

The first page of the resume Scott Sartiano sent to Mayor Eric Adams, asking to be considered for an appointment to the Met’s board (Hell Gate)

To learn more about the appointment specifically, and the relationship between Adams and Sartiano generally, Hell Gate filed a Freedom of Information Request for records of communication between the two, from January of 2022 through September of that same year. More than a year later, the Adams administration still hadn’t released them, so we sued. Last month, City Hall released a seemingly incomplete series of records that includes Sartiano submitting his resume to the Mayor’s Office for consideration for the Met board appointment.

“To whom it may concernRecipient Name,” the resume begins. “I am writing to express my interest in becoming Mayor Eric Adam’s [sic] appointee to the board of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.”

You can read the rest of Sartiano’s resume, and the documents the City released to Hell Gate, below. We’re going to keep litigating, because in their response, the Mayor’s Office did not include one crucial kind of information we had asked for: text messages.

Still hungry?

  • Scott Sartiano ’97: Politician of the Night | Columbia College Today
  • Zero Bond King Scott Sartiano Tells All | New York Post
  • Zero Bond Has Become the New York Art World’s Favorite Private Club. That Doesn’t Make It Cool | Artnet
  • No outdoor dining for you: CB 2 Snubs Zero Bond, NoHo Private Members Club | The Village Sun

Last updated: 12/18/2023


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