Remember when the most interesting thing about the Roosevelt was the red sign on its roof? Then along came Amanda Scheer-Demme. Seemingly overnight, the nightlife entrepreneur transformed the hotel on Hollywood Boulevard into paparazzi heaven, creating bars like Teddy’s and the Tropicana, and filling them with celebutantes every night of the week. Suddenly, thanks to Demme, the Roosevelt was the hottest joint in town. So what did her bosses do? They fired her, naturally. “I was really shocked,” says Demme, who was informed of the decision via e-mail at the end of March. “And I was hurt. But I’m a survivor. I’ll move on.”
Demme said that for legal reasons she did not want to go into detail about the split, but it is well known that hotel guests had been complaining about noise emanating from her bars, and about her über-strict door policy. Put it this way: Demme’s all-time hero is late Studio 54 door bitch Steve Rubell. He would never have let middle-aged couples from Ohio into his bar either, hotel guests or not. Unfortunately for Demme, it’s middle-aged couples from Ohio, not Paris Hiltons or Lindsay Lohans, that make hotels money . . .
Originally from Potomac, Maryland, Demme was just 21 when she started working the door at The World, a club in downtown New York. Soon after, she started her own club night, Carwash, bringing in rap acts from the Bronx and occasionally teaming up with another promoter — Sean “Puffy” Combs. She moved to L.A. to manage Cypress Hill and House of Pain and met her husband-to-be, Ted Demme (director of Blow and Beautiful Girls). They got engaged six months later. They had been together 12 years, and their second child was 6 weeks old, when Ted died of cardiac arrest at age 38, collapsing during a celebrity basketball game in Santa Monica. “I watched him die right there on the hospital table,” Demme says. “It was fucking intense.” She had just formed an entertainment company with that other “hot” L.A.-nightlife entrepreneur Brent Bolthouse, and Ted’s funeral ended up being the first event they produced. “It was a funeral fit for a pharaoh,” says Demme.
That was three years ago. She named Teddy’s bar at the Roosevelt in his memory. “Ted had a short life, but he shined really hard and you felt him,” says Demme. “And that’s kinda how Teddy’s, the bar, was to me. It came in like a fire, and then it ended.”
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Amanda Demme is set to run a new poolside bar at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.