Not just an idle teen pinup, Jesse Bradford (Swimfan, Bring It On) is making the scene in his own right: as a club owner. The investment-minded actor – who plays a struggling thespian in the recent ensemble drama Heights, costarring Glenn Close, and an aspiring filmmaker in Happy Endings – opened New York City hot spot NA last fall with a group of celebs including Chris Noth, hip-hop mogul Damon Dash and model Petra Nemcova. Bradford, 26, tells PEOPLE about what's it like to join the ranks of Hollywood entrepreneurs (like Dolce restaurateur Ashton Kutcher).
What's it like owning a hot New York club?
It's good. I'm not really doing any of the day-to-day grunt work. It's more just an investment opportunity, and a risky one at that. I just thought it would be fun and interesting, and why the hell not?
Do you and co-owner Chris Noth (a.k.a. Sex and the City's Mr. Big) hang out much?
We're acquaintances. He's good friends with my good friend (and business partner) Noel Ashman, who's kind of the mastermind behind this whole thing.
Any memorable clubbing nights?
I got forcibly removed from Nyla (Britney Spears's onetime restaurant) in New York back when it opened because a bouncer tried to start a fight with my girlfriend at the time. It was ridiculous. Who picks a fight with a girl? A pussy, that's who. I stepped in and put my hands on him and said, "What the f– do you think you're doing?" And before I knew it, I was being escorted out by three guys with my hand up over my head.
What about at NA?
I've had some fun there. I was there for New Year's this year. That was great. Flava Flav performed, and then Fat Joe was just there hanging out, and he decided to get up onstage and do a song too, which was completely unsolicited. So that was awesome.
How's the celeb scene there?
Eliza Dushku (Bring It On) was there celebrating her birthday. We're talking for a while, and five minutes into the conversation I'm like, "Do you know I kind of own this place?" She's like, "What?" I don't remember what happened after that – I was kind of drunk. I think I sent her a bottle of champagne. It was a funny thing to be able to be like, "By the way, do you need anything? Because I can get it."