SJS Group is a leading restaurant and nightlife company that develops, owns and operates successful food, beverage and nightlife entertainment venues in the Singapore and Hong Kong. With over twenty-five years in the industry creating, launching and operating multiple venues across the globe, SJS Group's Partners Joshua Schwartz and Sarissa Rodriguez bring decades of hospitality experience to the brand portfolio. Its collection includes Bang Bang Nightclub, Employees Only Singapore, Employees Only Hong Kong, and LuLu's Lounge Singapore .
The son of a chef, Joshua grew up in some of the top kitchens in New York. He has worked his way up the ladder holding every position in every facet of the business honing his unique management style, creative vision and training programs.
With over 25 years in the food and beverage industry, Joshua has worked with some of the top operators in New York and Miami turning their vision into successful nightclubs, bars, restaurants and hotels. Working with the likes of Keith McNally of Balthazar fame, Andre Balaz of the Standard Hotel, and Eric Goode of The Park and the Maritime Hotel to name a few.
Joshua moved to Asia in 2011 as the Director of Worldwide Operations for the Pangaea Group. He was tasked with the growth and expansion of the brand. Launching the Singapore outlet , he was able to bring the western boutique nightclub into the Asian market with tremendous success withPangaea became the highest grossing nightclub per square foot in the world. Joshua then went on to spearhead the growth of the brand in New Delhi and Manila before leaving the group in 2014.
Joshua has extensive experience in conceptualizing, coordinating and opening international food and beverage outlets. Having opened several concepts in Singapore, India and The Philippines, Joshua has proven his ability to adapt to a local market and taste while still staying true to the projects original intention. In 2014 Joshua along with his wife and partner Sarissa opened Bang Bang Nightclub at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Singapore. A western style nightclub, Bang Bang has enjoyed amazing success and become the leader in the nightlife scene in Singapore.
2016 saw Joshua and Sarissa form SJS Group, a hospitality solutions group. 2016 also saw the fruition of a long time dream of Joshua as SJS group partnered with the famous cocktail bar from New York, Employees Only to launch Employees Only Singapore. Having known and trained the founders of the brand over 20 years ago, Employees Only Singapore has been a labor of love for Joshua and a major success in Singapore. SJS Group expanded the Employees Only brand to Hong Kong in June of 2017. Crowned "Best New Cocktail Bar", Employees Only Hong Kong has been a welcomed addition to the Hong Kong restaurant & bar scene. 2017 also saw SJS Group open the popular LuLu's Lounge. Known as Singapore's premier nightlife destination, LuLu's sophisticated curation of entertainment and revered service standards have created a mature niche of nightlife goers.
Joshua holds many accolades and certificates including Beefeater Gin Best Bartender in America 1998 and a Certification from the American Sommelier Association. Joshua prides himself on bringing 5 star service and a sense of fun and exploration to all his projects.
Sarissa recognized her passion for Food & Beverage and Hospitality early in her career path. While studying International Business at George Washington University, she took a job as a waitress at a trendy restaurant in Washington D.C. She instantly fell in love with the industry and upon graduating choose to pursue a path in F&B, using the knowledge she learned at University.
She has the know how to look at the industry through the shrewd eye of a businesswomen and the experience of working her way through multiple front of house positions. Since arriving in Singapore in 2011, Sarissa has become one of the most influential and recognizable players in Singapore nightlife. Originally brought from New York to curate the VIP program of Pangaea Ultra-Lounge at the Marina Bay Sands, Sarissa was instrumental in developing, marketing, and operating what became known as an elite global brand. Through her contacts and database, Sarissa helped build Pangaea to the highest grossing nightclub in the world per square foot, and achieve international publicity through well-crafted PR and marketing efforts. She was instrumental to growing the concept into one of the most prestigious brands in nightlife. While part of the group, Sarissa helped to launch Pangaea branches in New Delhi and Manila.
In 2014 Sarissa with her husband Joshua launched Bang Bang Nightclub, which has garnered a reputation for being one of the trendiest and most successful nightlife destinations in Asia. Bang Bang regularly brings in top entertainment acts and continuously attracts celebrities such as LMFAO, Fabolous, Black Eyed Peas, Gordon Ramsey, Soulja Boy, Ja Rule, and David Beckham to its' party scene.
In 2016 Sarissa and her husband, fulfilled a long time goal of bringing the famed New York cocktail bar Employees Only into Singapore. As a partner in the project, the success of the Singapore outlet is much to the credit of Sarissa’s vision and crowd curation. Bringing the right people into the right venue is something she prides herself on.
In 2017 Sarissa expanded the Emlpoyees Only brand to Central Hong Kong where after only two months of operations won "Best New Cocktail Bar" with countless other nominations.
2017 SJS Group also opened the hottest venue in Singapore to date, LuLu's Lounge. Revolutionizing the entertainment scene, LuLu's has become Singapore's premier nightlife destination and standard for live entertainment across the region.
Now a fixture in the Singapore Food & Beverage and Entertainment scene, Sarissa consistently keeps a close eye on market trends to bring fresh concepts to the Singapore landscape. With her keen eye, expertise, and 85,000 person database Sarissa is a key figure in SJS Group as Managing Director and Co-Founder of the group.
Employees Only Singapore offers flawlessly executed cocktails and modern American fare on Amoy Street in Chinatown. Hailed as one of the original forebears of the craft cocktail movement in America, the original speakeasy in New York City was opened by five industry friends in 2004. Their approach to hospitality merges cocktail culture with dining, in a beautiful setting without pretense where patrons can enjoy themselves. From relaxing pre-prandials to dinner, then late night tipples and supper, the venue buzzes until closing time, when the last revellers are served the EO signature cup of chicken soup.
In addition to a world class bar program whose acceptance is coveted by aspiring bartenders around the glove, Employees Only has gained a voracious and loyal following for their esteemed New American fare, distinguished by subtle Eastern European touches that pay homage to executive chef Julia Jaksic's Croatian heritage.
The bar has created industry classics out of its pioneering drink list, including Ginger Smash, the Amelia, and their twist on the Manhattan. Meanwhile, the kitchen continues to serve dedicated favorites like its Hand Cut Steak Tartare, Bone Marrow Poppers, and Skate Paprikas.
Reflecting an old world vibe through its art deco inspired aesthetics, Employees Only Singapore is curiously tucked behind a fortune teller's liar. Upon arrival past this mysterious foyer, guests revel around a sensual curving bar and throughout the back dining area.
112 Amoy Street
Gunning down conventional ways of looking at high-end merrymaking, BANG BANG is a refreshing alternative to your typical party destination. Bringing back the fun to nightlife, you can expect all the familiar traits of a world-class nightclub including top-notch service for the nightclub savvy and sophisticated, but in an environment focused on crazy, over-the-top antics and high-energy sound.
Housed in a 5,000 square foot venue at the 5 Star Pan Pacific Hotel located at Marina Bay, BANG BANG draws it’s inspiration from the world’s top high-energy nightclubs and brings it into an intimate setting with a capacity of 400 revelers.
Attracting the likes of a-listers such as gordon ramsey, joseph schooling, omarion, fabolous, will-i-am, and lmfao to its' party scene, bang bang has garnered a reputation for being among the trendiest and most successful nightlife destinations in asia.
7 Raffles Blvd
Pan Pacific Hotel
Named after its fictional owner, Lulu's is an intriguing innovation on the Singapore nightlife scene. Carefully curated entertainment coupled with unexpected design changes in the venue's interior throughout the evening creates an evolving, proactive experience.Offering early-hour Jazz, playful twists on classic cocktails and light bar snacks, guests can expect all the characteristics of a 1960's New York backstreet club. With burlesque star guests and retro DJ performances from internationally acclaimed names, live acoustics and personal hospitality, LuLu's guests can enjoy inconspicuous post-dinner drinks or let their hair down and dance into the early hours.
Employees Only Hong Kong, located in Lan Kwai Fong in Central, brings the legendary New York speakeasy to the heart of Hong Kong's notorious LKF nightlife district. Crowned “Best New Cocktail Bar” at the 2017 Bar Awards Hong Kong, EOHK aims to transport the brand’s beloved nightlife experience, suited to local tastes. Conceptualized by five bar industry friends in the early aughts, Employees Only has become the industry standard for a hospitality-inclined cocktail bar since the opening of its original New York property in December 2004. Throughout the years, the neo-speakeasy and restaurant has been critically lauded and honored with awards by the global bar community — including Spirited Awards for “Best American Bar Team,” “World’s Best Cocktail Bar” and “World’s Best Drinks Selection” by Tales of the Cocktail, as well as eight consecutive appearances on Drinks International’s “World’s 50 Best Bars” list, including a 2016 win of the "Legends of the List" award. Yet EO remains true to its core tenet: To offer flawlessly executed cocktails and delicious, elevated food, served in a beautiful space without any pretense. In addition to a world class bar program whose acceptance is coveted by aspiring bartenders around the globe, Employees Only has gained a voracious and loyal following for its mysterious, convivial and hospitable ambiance and esteemed New American fare, distinguished by subtle Eastern European touches. Reflecting an old world vibe through its art deco accents, Employees Only Hong Kong is curiously tucked behind a fortune teller’s lair. Upon arrival past this mysterious foyer, guests revel around a sensual curving bar that leads up to an alluring, elevated back dining room.
19 Lan Kwai Fong
"There’s that La La Land feel to Lulu’s, a jazz lounge inspired by cocktail bars in New York."- Epicure
"The two New York natives make a damn good team. Both are the founders and managing directors of SJS Group, a Singapore and Hong Kong-based restaurant and nightlife development company. They’re responsible for establishing familiar hotspots such as Bang Bang, Employees Only, and the upcoming late night live lounge, Lulu’s. Given their success, it would be fair to assume the duo were both passionate about nightlife from the get-go."- LifeStyle Asia
"Based out of Singapore for nearly seven years now, American entrepreneurs Josh and Sarissa Schwartz are fast building one of Southeast Asia’s leading upmarket nightlife groups. Though glamorous décor, extravagant bottle service and handcrafted cocktails are central to their venues’ offerings, the Schwartzes say it’s mostly good ol’ fashioned hospitality that has secured their nightspots a loyal, affluent following."- Forbes Asia
"Are we surprised that Joshua and Sarissa Schwartz, natives of the City that Never Sleeps, have launched a lounge where guests can chill or boogie till the crack of dawn? The couple dreamed up Lulu's, a “frivolous, sexy and quirky” live lounge that opens this April at Pan Pacific Hotel, around the fancies of its fictional owner Lulu, a hard-drinking good-time girl born and raised in the Bronx. Classic art deco meets 1960s graffitied underground bar, it's lined with cosy banquetted nooks interspersed with display walls that highlight Lulu's chintzy accessories and kitschy dresser-uppers including coloured wigs."- L'Officiel
“If an aging but still very classy socialite recently divorced with millions ever opened up her idea of a bar to entertain friends in her illustrious power circle, Lulu’s Lounge is it.”- Spirited SG
Papi’s Tacos opens this July at 39 Seah in Singapore Street (next to Raffles Hotel). Papi, aka Maurice Espinoza, will be there whipping up menu items he grew up with in his home town of Tlaxcala, Mexico. We describe it as “a food truck without wheels.” Homemade, authentic, casual and fun.