A Day in the Life: Lox Club Founder Austin Kevitch Shares What It's Like to Manage a Not-Lame Dating App

After years of decrying dating apps as cringe-y AF, Austin Kevitch created the Lox Club for picky singles who prefer speakeasies to speed dating. He lets E! News through the secret entrance.

By Sarah Grossbart Oct 07, 2021 4:00 PMTags

Some people have jobs so cool we'd actually enjoy attending their marathon Zoom meetings. Even the ones that could totally have been an email. 

Not to say we don't cherish our all-important responsibility of bringing you every last piece of need-to-know information about the casts of Bridgerton and The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City, but we don't have our own glam squad or a Rolodex filled with famous names, now do we? 

But the impossibly cool people we'll be profiling in E! News' latest series totally do. Plus access to things like private drivers, designer garb and the type of professional titles we'd drop with wild abandon at parties, dinner dates or while chatting with the barista at Starbucks. Welcome to A Day in the Life...

It took one breakup, one nagging grandmother, a global pandemic and roughly 1,000 lonely daters for product designer Austin Kevitch to find his beshert—soulmate, for those of us not fluent in Yiddish—in the unlikeliest of places. 

They Dated? Surprising Star Couples

He had always found dating apps to be super cringe. And yet now here he was helming one that he thought held actual promise. 

"I was so anti-dating app," he admits to E! News. "My friends would lie if they met someone on a dating app." So he was 100 percent just joking around when he quickly put together a Squarespace website for Lox Club a little more than a year ago "making fun of these elite social clubs and other dating apps that I thought were kind of cringe-y," he describes. "I'd tried a few of them and I'm just like, 'This is so corny.'"

But it turned out there was a hunger for his creation, aimed at "Jews with ridiculously high standards," using the tagline, "Finally find someone your grandma would approve of." A day or two later, "I wake up and over 1,000 people had applied on this website for an app that didn't even exist," he explains.

Lindsey Kevitch

He continued to write it off, though, until the coronavirus pandemic shut the world down. "Now all of a sudden, everyone's stuck at home, lonely and horny," he says. "I'm getting all of these messages, like, 'Hey, when am I going to get accepted to Lox Club?' And then I'm thinking to myself, 'All right, maybe it would make sense now with COVID. There's no other real way for people to meet.'" 

A trip to Philadelphia for his grandparents' funeral convinced him to commit. As he pored over their wedding invitation and old letters back at their house, he crafted an entire fictional backstory about Josie Spielman, who created a secret lounge in the back of her New York City deli called The Lox Club. 

His overall goal, he explains, was to make something that felt more "like an immersive experience" than an app you mindlessly swiped through. He loved the idea of this "cinematic speakeasy" and the password needed for entry, "and then you'd happen to meet people as a byproduct."

It's a concept that clicked with others. Launched last fall, "Somehow it gets picked up by New York Times and Vogue and Forbes," he says, "and now we have a real team and here we are—I'm planning these in-real-life events."

In the wake of another successful bash at September's New York Fashion Week, the Lox Club CEO grants E! News entry into his not-at-all-lame world. 

1:31 a.m. (EST): Someone's taking that whole city-that-never-sleeps thing a bit too far. Wide awake in his New York hotel room as "per usual," Austin says, he pops a melatonin pill and manages to snag seven hours of shut-eye. 

8:47 a.m. Awake again, he indulges in a little journaling before beginning his usual routine of checking his text messages, emails, Slack missives and Instagram DMs. "I write down, I'm gonna die one day and how lucky I am to be alive," Austin shares, "so I should stop stressing for a sec."

9:30 a.m. Taking that messaging and his dad's text "saying I look too skinny and that I need to eat more and work out," to heart, the former high school quarterback and track captain wanders down to his hotel's gym. 

After sending his dad a selfie "to prove I'm there," he jokes, he hits the treadmill blasting "All My Life," K-Ci and JoJo's hit 1998 track, "for like six minutes, lift a dumbbell, then get bored and leave."

11 a.m. "Alllll my lifeeeeeee, I prayed for someone like you..." After taking a shower "still listening to K-Ci and JoJo" on repeat, he heads to his team's makeshift offices and changes his tune. 

To mark senior growth manager Carly Silverman's one-year anniversary, "I walk in blasting 'Celebration' by Kool & The Gang," Austin reveals, "and we hit a piñata filled with candy." Though he does some work—reviewing the design and copywriting for their fall campaign and playing around with the design on their soon-to-be-launched "napkin notes" feature—mostly he celebrates good times, come on!

"I keep feeding Carly candy," he admits. "Then continue to distract everyone from working." No surprise his team of roughly 15 employees has a lot of fun together. "I think we've done a really good job of recruiting people that are really in the demographic, so they know what they would want from a brand like this," he explains, "and also people who don't take themselves too seriously, which also aligns with the brand."

2:44 p.m. It pays to have a food influencer on the payroll. Morgan Raum, the head of membership, also runs an Insta account called @tooomuchfoood and brings the group "to her fave hole in the wall restaurant," says Austin of the NYC cafe literally called Hole in the Wall. "The waitress broke a glass and was super nice," he shares, "and I compliment her accent."

6:05 p.m. Though he's a little bummed when an investor cancels a meeting last-minute ("I was excited to catch up with her") he admits that, "I'm low-key happy because now I can sneak in a nap." 

En route back to the hotel, "I text the company groupchat asking if anyone's up for hotel tag," he shares. "Only one person responds but one-on-one would be weird so I don't respond." A nap it is, then. 

7:15 p.m. But first, sustenance. Before hitting up the company's event—they paired up with Beverly Hills Lingerie to host a New York Fashion Week bash at LiFE, Le Méridien's rooftop spot overlooking Central Park—Austin meets up with his team for dinner. 

Arriving just a few minutes late, "Carly yells at me to get out of the way to let the waiter scoot the tables and I'm like, 'What does it look like I'm doing?' Then I fire her," he jokes. "Just kidding. I scoot two tables together to fit everyone. And make a little pre-event toast. I love my team."

9:30 p.m. By the time they arrive to the midtown Manhattan spot, "There's a pretty big line," Austin says. "I try to skip it and the bouncer stops me. It's too douchey to say, 'I'm actually kinda hosting the event,' so I don't. Luckily someone else says, 'He's the CEO,' so he lets me in."

Awkwardness averted, he remembers that actually he is kinda awkward at these things. "I get so overwhelmed by the amount of people, I hate it and wanna hide," he admits. Fortunately, his events team has put together a kickass party, taking pains to include the sorts of details he loves. 

"I always want it to have activities there so the dating part or meeting people kind of feels like a fun by-product," he explains. "Which is like our whole brand ethos, basically. And they've done a good job of that." This go-round, for example, they hired a magician (a huge win for Austin who recently attended a magic show in NYC) and "a secret bookshelf door where you had to pull a book to walk in," he describes. "It just feels like you're in this themed experience."

During a recent brainstorm for upcoming parties, he threw out incorporating a ghost tour, one of his favorite activities in any new spot. "You get to learn about the city and you have drinks," he explains. "It's such a non-awkward way to be in an intimate group and talk to the person next to you."

Arnag Baltaian

2:01 a.m. Forget the hotel lobby, this after-party takes place in a nearby diner. "We recap the event gossip over macaroni and chicken tenders," Austin describes, which of course includes a lot of chatter about who hooked up with who. 

"I hear about the scandalous bathroom makeouts," he continues. "Best part of my day."