Fine dining and exquisite experiences converge at Le Malt Imperiale, the newmembers-only club that has taken the island’s dining scene by storm. This unique establishment is not only a restaurant, but also a sanctuary for those who appreciate the finer things in life. In this exclusive interview, we sit down with the visionaries behind Le Malt Imperiale and uncover the essence of this exceptional dining haven.
Staten Island City Lifestyle: Tell us about your background and how you got involved in the restaurant industry.
Saurabh Abrol: I joined my dad’s business about 25 years back. We had a few liquor stores as well as a couple of other small businesses, but the emphasis was mainly on the liquor industry. Over the years I saw a real opportunity in hospitality and started to dive in. In 2012 we started to build out our first Le Malt in Colonia, New Jersey. We opened the private members-only club in Red Bank, New Jersey in 2019. I learned a lot about the restaurant industry and it opened my eyes to a whole new business outside of liquor stores. We are now expanding into Staten Island, some other places as well and we are developing our authentic Mexican concept called Meximoto.
Staten Island City Lifestyle: How did you come up with the members-only concept?
Saurabh Abrol: I always wanted to open businesses that were elegant, exclusive and that really targeted a certain demographic. We thought Red Bank would be the perfect opportunity because of the clientele and the demographics that Monmouth County has to offer. We made it very exclusive. We hired chefs that were the best of the best. We fly our sushi in straight from Japan and it is a very elevated experience. We created value with our world-class dining and our ambiance. It was something that New Jersey didn’t have previously. Right now our Red Bank location has about a 2-year waitlist.
Staten Island City Lifestyle: In what ways is the Staten Island location similar to Red Bank and in what ways is it different?
Saurabh Abrol: The similarities lie in the concept and the ambiance. There are lockers where you can store your alcohol and it still has the Le Malt feel. It’s different because we hired a very specific design firm that really took on this project out of Manhattan and they really designed it in a way to create a very exclusive dining experience. The space is double the size of Red Bank to accommodate the demand.
Staten Island City Lifestyle: How would you describe the experience at Le Malt?
TJ Pingitore: A mix of upscale, sophisticated, and fun. I don’t think it’s your traditional stuffy environment. The expectation of exclusivity and privacy can sometimes be misconceived as a bit bland but that’s not our brand. It’s a business club but also an elegant leisure experience.
Staten Island City Lifestyle: What is your menu like and what makes it stand out?
TJ Pingitore: The two main areas we wanted to focus on were sushi and a great steak menu. For us this was vital to create a worldly dining experience.
Saurabh Abrol: Something I haven’t seen in Staten Island is an authentic omakase experience. Our sushi chefs will create this for our members and throughout the night they can experience all 15 courses that are chefs’ choice. This is a very unique element that we haven’t done at any of our other locations.
Staten Island City Lifestyle: What is the process like to become a member at le Malt Imperiale?
TJ Pingitore: A conversation is always the starting point with each person that submits an inquiry. We aim to better understand them, their business, their network and see if they are a good fit for the club. We follow this by giving a tour so we can have them learn more about the club, see it in person and it gives us an opportunity to meet them. The goal is to make sure we have the right community where everyone feels comfortable. We try to ensure that their businesses align in some way and also look at the reasons they would like to join, attendance etc. Once you apply there’s a 24-72 hour vetting process and after that you are either selected, waitlisted or denied.
Staten Island City Lifestyle: Tell us about the different memberships that you offer.
TJ Pingitore: The first is a solo membership which is for 1 person. The 2nd is a joint membership for 2 people and the 3rd is for 4 people to a locker. In addition, we also have a platinum plus membership which is a double size locker with some additional perks for members who are bringing clients on a more consistent basis. We also have a global extension, which allows our members to dine at our other locations. For this there is an additional fee. The vision for the brand is global access to everywhere as we continue to expand.
Staten Island City Lifestyle: What is the best way for someone to reach out to you in regards to going for a tour?
TJ Pingitore: Send over an email to email@example.com!
Staten Island City Lifestyle: Lastly, when will the Staten Island location be officially open for business?
Saurabh Abrol: Early October