When Former Time Warner chairman and CEO Richard Parsons turned 18, he brought his then-girlfriend to Hickory House, a jazz supper club in midtown Manhattan. "You got to dress up, and it was the first time I thought of myself as acting like a grown-up," he recalls. "Ever since, I've wanted to own a supper club." Forty-seven years of dreaming will be fulfilled soon with his opening of a Harlem restaurant and jazz supper club: The Cecil and Minton's.
The Cecil (210 W. 118th St.) is a casual 150-seat spot, while next door, the 70-seat Minton's (206 W. 118th St.) marks the rebirth of the famed jazz club Minton's Playhouse, initially closed in 1974, where Charlie Parker and Thelonious Monk first improvised bebop. "I love music. It was my favorite part of Time Warner, and it killed me to have to sell [Warner Music Group]," says Parsons of spinning off the division in 2004. For the past decade, he has been chairman of the Jazz Foundation of America.
The executive — who ran Time Warner from 2002 to 2008, followed by a three-year tenure as Citigroup chairman — was conceived in Harlem, grew up in Brooklyn and lives in Tribeca with his psychologist wife, Laura.