Ms. Yoo is a Lower East Side restaurant/lounge designed as a romantic date place embracing the youthful demographics of the area. A departure from the dive-bar, industrial feel of its neighbors it is a study in florals and light. The use of iron work gazebos as 8-foot lighting fixtures and an iron trellis to define the bar and entrance sequence creates shadows that invigorate the walls and capture the imagination. The best part is the cost of the project hovered around $150 a foot; the best feature is the under-lit etched antique doors used as the bar top.
New York Eater Opening coverage
Voted best new restaurant design by Time Out New York Butter was a game changer. The model/bottle crowd embraced the restaurant especially the downstairs lounge with its White Birch walls and branch ceiling. Denim clad banquettes hosted the downtown scenes A-Listers. The giant photo of a serene forest at the end of the arched dining room more than made up for the windowless room. Many patrons asked if they could sit in the backyard. Butter hit its stride when Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli took the reins.
The Darby was designed for Iron Chef America and Food Network star Alex Guarnaschelli and the Butter Group. The space was the former location of Nell's one of best places in New York nightlife history. It was inevitable that the public would just refer to the place as Nell's. Thus, the design concept was to restore a highly detailed vision of the old room but put a chromed nickel-plated screen in front of it to modernize that feel. A stage where jazz bands would entertain was the focus of the room. The highly reflective screen would pick up the stage lighting and excite the room. A downstairs club with tiered leather seating and a honey-combed screen of its own was the hottest place in town.
Amalia was a pile of rubble when we first toured it. The space located in the Dream Hotel Midtown was named by our team after Sigmund Freud's mother. The two of them can be seen silhouetted in the custom cut pirolettes that divide the top level from the main dining room. The restaurant features a mosaic "magic carpet" staircase and a glass bar top encasing romantic lace.
Sugar, located in Carle Place, Long Island was designed to bring a bit of that "New York feel" to Suburbia. Vaulted ceilings were added as well as contemporary artist renditions of people dancing and having fun framed the bar. Like many modern restaurants Sugar cleared its dining room for late night dancing. Lighting systems and a dance floor were incorporated into the design.
New York Times Opening Coverage
A high-end dessert restaurant Brulee needed to convert to a bottle service club 32° Luxe Lounge for late night dancing. Plates were stored under liquor steps and things like that. Brulee served lots of flambé desserts so a large mirrored ceiling piece reflected flames and other patrons treats. A thousand 6-foot strands of Swarovski crystal surrounded the centerpiece. Mirrored soffits with 500 fiber optic points of light added to the excitement.
Atlantic City Weekly 32 Degrees is High Style
Club Systems International Review
The Aspen Social Club a hundred feet from the center of Times Square was designed to be a please to take a deep breathe, have a drink or a meal as you were transported to a place of trees and fresh air. The dining room is an infinity forest with a 20-foot-wide domed antler chandelier. Hand tooled leather ottomans and a reclaimed wood vaulted ceiling with streams of light popping through are like an old barn or shed in a place far removed from the hustle and bustle. Etched glass dividing walls or mosaic back-lit walls emphasized the forest feeling.
Aspen a Flatiron offering features elk-head lights behind the bar and hand painted forest tapestries. A wood burning fireplace centers the dining room. The rear of the room featured glass doors. When it snowed you truly felt like you were in Aspen.
New York Magazine Listing
UrbanDaddy Opening coverage
Designed for Top Chef Camille Becera the room is full of NYC street references and color designed to match her Cuban inspired healthy menu. The wallpapers are by Shepard Fairey and underline the primary color concept. The woods and wallpapers are strata representing the changing history of the neighborhood. From tenement push cart culture to urban decay to ultra hipster there have been layers of life. There are bronze hanging sneakers in the bar area. Spalted maple is used on the floor, tables and wainscoting. Spalted maple is decayed timber that is rescued and cured and made beautiful just like the modern Lower East Side. The center piece of the room is a 10-panel glass dividing wall. Each pane has 1 or 2 or 3 silhouettes of pigeons in flight as if someone came by and disturbed their pecking. A vaulted ceiling is layered with soundproofing to protect neighbors from the sounds of success.
New York Magazine Coverage
Eater NY Opening coverage
Bowery Boogie coverage
The town of Huntington is wealthy. The clientele according to the owners, doesn't wan't to dine in a restaurant that's too "New York slick", yet they want the place to feel like the in-spot. Design required me to balance and deliver a warm sophisticated space that after hours became a dance lounge. Warm woods played their part combined with leather clad banquettes and a fake skylight. A touch of a "Rorschach" wallpaper added color.
Newsday Opening coverage