With the opening of John DeLucie's The Lion last week, the Times notices a trend: restaurant design that harkens back to another era. Of course with The Lion that era in question is somewhat nebulous. "It’s a composite of old New York. Whether that’s the ’30s or ’40s or ’50s, it’s all in there," says DeLucie. As long as it looks old timey, we're good!
Graydon Carter, the godfather of glam, clubby, nostalgia-ridden restaurants chimes in, "Gentrification over the past quarter-century has killed so many old dinner spots...I think it’s important to give people an alternative to the chic place-of-the-moment look so prevalent with new ones."
But the funny thing is, at this point, the "chic place-of-the-moment look" is old timey. Please see: Monkey Bar, Minetta Tavern, The Lion, Prime Meats, The Breslin to a certain degree, and if you go back another year, Waverly Inn and even Bobo. The big sleek, sprawling restaurants that have opened recently, like SD26, like Aureole, almost seem passe, very late 90's/early aughts. No imbued sense of history at all!
Perhaps the design was once an antidote to what Carter called "discotheques with food," but now it's practically become the norm.
· A Vision of the City as It Once Was [NYT]
· All Coverage of The Lion [~ENY~]