Scott Sartiano knows how to show people a good time. Armed with a degree in political science from Columbia University in New York City, he started The Butter Group with partner Richie Akiva eight years ago, opening Butter Restaurant and 1Oak in New York — both which attract A-list celebrities.
But at heart, he is a Carolina boy who grew up in Columbia, S.C., and says he misses fishing with his friends.
In February 2010, Sartiano and Akiva brought Butter to the N.C. Music Factory. "I always wanted to return to my roots once I made it in New York City," Sartiano says.
Creative Loafing: Why did you decide to bring Butter to Charlotte?
Scott Sartiano: [NASCAR driver] Jeff Gordon had mentioned to me that Charlotte really needed a place like Butter after visiting New York City. He then introduced me to [Music Factory owner] Noah Lazes, who told me all about his vision for the N.C. Music Factory, and it instantly clicked that this is something I wanted to be a part of. I really wanted to not only change Charlotte nightlife, but I wanted to be a part of it.
Now that you've been open for a while, how's business been?
Business has been great — it's actually better than I ever expected. Charlotte has been very receptive to Butter NC. You always have to adapt to a new environment, but at the end of the day, no matter where you go, people want the same basic things when they go out, which are good music, ambiance, service and a fun party in a well-controlled atmosphere.
Is there anything you miss about the South?
I do love New York, but there are a lot of things in the South that you can't find in the city. I miss the weather, fishing with friends and watching South Carolina Gamecock football in person. Now that I'm down here so often, I definitely plan on going to a few games this year.
What's your favorite drink?
You can usually find me just having the occasional Heineken.