For the design of Delicatessen, nemaworkshop explored the concept of urban identity, namely the vibrant SoHo neighborhood and more specifically the NY newsstand. Typically overlooked because of its ubiquity, the newsstand serves as an atypical yet appropriate model. They are open, in-and-out thoroughfares which foster a unique breed of social energy.
In order to capture this energy, the main dining space opens up to the bustling street corner with large retractable steel-and-glass garage doors. Traditional boundaries between street and restaurant evaporate, allowing the main dining space to be loosely defined and astonishingly inviting. Underneath the bar stands a collection of clear soda pop bottles while behind the bar the wall is clad in leather subway tiles.
The concept of informal urbanity develops complexity as one travels downstairs into the more intimate spaces below street level. The existing boiler room has been transformed into a glass-roofed lounge lined with an oversized mural by local artist Juan Jose Heredia. Just a few steps down from the lounge / courtyard is: minibar. As the name implies, it’s a cozy underground bar where the walls are lined with vintage mini-bottles.
Ultimately, the design of Delicatessen from the multi-leveled spatial organization to the comfortable yet sophisticated materiality is rooted in the concept that the space should be both inviting and accessible.