Luca Maggiora walks in wearing a black Balmain leather jacket, black shades, black jeans and grey Balenciaga trainers.
In typical Italian manner, he orders a double Espresso and sits out on the cold winter terrace of the Four Seasons Mayfair with his cigarette.
Despite the fact I know this 38 year old man leads the West End club scene in a tough market where staying “cool” is hard to keep up, his story from his banking roots to his real passion – his momma’s cooking and Italian politics – gives him a human touch and energy anyone would admire.
FROM ITALY TO LONDON
Maggiora came from north Italy – Turin to London – to take a job as a credit analyst for Intesa Sanpaolo and, like many others in the finance game or simply in the “employed” market, felt restless.
Wanting to do his own thing and explore his own creativity, Luca’s side project was working with nightclubs.
Eventually Maggiora’s ‘side project’ brought in more money than his banking job. So he quit and decided to open a small club of his own in London’s Mayfair called Luxx.
Major EDM acts like Calvin Harris, Swedish House Mafia, and Afro Jack all played there when hip hop was king in the West End.
But, with the growing popularity of EDM DJ’s, Luxx club became more popular and became a magnet for cool crowds and international spenders who loved the music.
ONE SUCCESSFUL CLUB OPENING AFTER ANOTHER
Luca’s next club, Project, was a smash success and perhaps one of the leaders in London for table spending culture where individuals might drop upwards of £5K for a table to watch a big artist like 50 Cent perform.
The music was a mixed bag of hip hop and EDM DJ’s in a bigger performance venue in Soho; attracting large crowds. It was one of the most lucrative nightclubs in the West End of its time.
Maggiora understood operations and the importance of having a strong team working by his side. He carefully chose the best partners and staff to work across a burgeoning portfolio of A-list attended venues that have since gone global.
The most successful brand to date is his Toy Room concept which is an adult playground providing entertainment for international jet setters with naughty sounding cocktails.
A live misbehaving Teddy Bear mascot called “Frank” (a performer in a teddy bear costume) who entertains patrons goes worldwide now.
TOY ROOM GOES INTERNATIONAL
Toy Room was an idea conceptualised by Luca and his three Italian partners Jordan Rocca, Corrado Mozzilla, and Gennaro Salerno and it grew quickly.
From Toy Room London, Dubai, Mykonos, Athens, Rome, Sao Paolo and Delhi, Toy Room is now unquestionably one of the most successful global nightclub brands to come out of London.
Luca’s club, Scandal is also a stand-alone success with its red light-district themed interior and hip hop music policy.
Last year, Luca became a main partner in the 1920’s style art deco Charlie nightclub on Mayfair’s prestigious Berkeley Street with its Hong Kong investors.
LUCA MAGGIORA’S VENUES ATTRACT A-LIST CROWDS
The surge of A-list fans remains loyal with Bradley Cooper, Leonardo DiCaprio, Usain Bolt, Drake, Lindsay Lohan, Gerald Butler, Ronaldo and Rihanna coming as guests due to the venue’s discretion.
Moving into restaurants and food were the obvious next steps. Maggiora took his passion for his own momma’s cooking back home in Turin and opened La Mia Mamma restaurant on the Kings Road in Chelsea with business partners Corrado Mozzillo and Peppe Corsaro.
REAL ITALIAN MOMMAS COOK DINNER
Their concept is that Italian mothers from different regions in Italy come over and cook their secret family recipes to diners each month in this relaxed Italian style trattoria with open windows onto the bustling street.
Even before Luca had the success of his first restaurant, he and his Brazilian partners Renato Damiano Maciel and Marcus Vinicius De Paula opened Acai Berry – an Amazon-inspired dhealth food stop specialising in trendy protein-powder superfood juices and granola in Soho.
Just before last Christmas, Maggiora opened the second Acai Berry a couple doors down from La Mia Mamma in Chelsea. We heard David Beckham is a fan.
STAYING GROUNDED AND FOCUSSED
What’s most interesting is that, in the midst of it all, Maggiora remains centred with a strict regime of meditation in the mornings and sleeping with his phone out of his bedroom.
What is the secret to Maggiora’s success? “We go out of our way to create experiences for our guests that they will never forget and cannot find anywhere else. So far, it seems to be working,” said Maggiora with a twinkle in his eye and sunglasses firmly in place.