Dog Walker. Crossword Novice. Master Host. We bear the elements with Standard Hotel’s Kevin Osterhaus at his West Village apartment.
“For me it was simple – I wanted to live in different places and work with unique people.”
Ozzie, Kevin Osterhaus’s 4-year old King Charles Spaniel is sitting on the living room couch, waiting impatiently for his owner. A morning drizzle raps against the large windows of their West Village apartment. Kevin walks in, glances at the dog, and chuckles. “I know what he’s thinking,” he whispers. “We had a deal – you wake up, I go outside and shit, then we read… what’s taking you so long?” He walks towards the couch as Ozzie’s tail wags faster and faster.
It’s Kevin’s job to be accommodating. And he’s very good at it. As the Executive Vice President of Operations at Standard International Management, he’s responsible for making the five Standard hotels (two in New York and Los Angeles and one in Miami) stellar places to stay, eat, and hang out. Kevin took the gig earlier this year, moving to New York with his wife, Marisa, after 15 years in Texas where he worked at Bunkhouse Group (Hotel San Jose, Hotel St. Cecilia, El Cosmico). His newest focus? London. Where the Standard plans to open its next hotel in Kings Cross.
But back to Kevin’s routine – Every day, after making coffee, he takes Ozzie for a walk. Today, it’s a wet one. We juggle our drugstore umbrellas as Kevin handles his own, not to mention Ozzie’s leash, as he makes his way along the sidewalk. Back inside, the pair flops down on the couch with Kevin’s iPad to do the New York Times Crossword Puzzle (“I can handle it through Thursday’s edition, but beyond that, it’s too tough”).
No breakfast is served in the Osterhaus household in the morning. “The food is there,” Kevin explains. “But I usually can’t muster up the energy.” He pauses. “But that also means I like to walk to work – few things are as uncomfortable as riding in the back of a cab on an empty stomach.”
Marisa comes into the kitchen asking about coffee. Kevin puts the crossword aside and pours her a mug. Then he showers and runs some Kevin Murphy Night Rider Matte Paste through his salt n’ pepper hair. As he pulls on a Henley and black jeans, he tells us how he got into the hospitality industry. He says, smoothly: “For me it was simple – I wanted to live in different places and work with unique people.” He packs a bag and we walk out of his warm and cozy apartment into what’s become quite the downpour.
“It’s a three song walk and I like to listen to jazz.”
“On a typical morning, I’ll walk up to Washington Square Park, and over – through the East Village [to the Standard] where I’ll have meetings,” Kevin tells us. “It’s about a three song walk and I like to listen to jazz.” Today, however, the rain wins out (“This umbrella is only keeping my face dry!”) and we hail a cab. Once at the hotel, we gather in the lobby with a handful of soaked guests. Kevin smiles, nods, seems concerned with the flow of traffic, wants to make sure everyone is comfortable. As we say goodbye, he presents us with a parting gift: a much larger umbrella – blue and screen-printed with the Standard logo. It’s a slightly more hospitable way to face the day.