Manhatta — New York, USA
The New York restaurateur Danny Meyer has added his stamp to the tradition of sky-high dining institutions in the Big Apple with Manhatta restaurant and bar. Union Square Hospitality Group’s latest venture, it’s located on the 60th floor of the skyscraper formerly known as One Chase Plaza and combines soulful, French-inspired cuisine with spectacular Lower Manhattan views. Located in the Financial District, the 90-seat eatery also comes armed with the group’s debut event space – the spacious Bay Room that spreads across the southern façade of the building. Together, the two entities occupy a whopping 38,000 square feet and offer unparalleled views of the surrounding city on all four sides.
Designed by the multi-disciplinary architectural practice Woods Bagot, Manhatta and Bay Room both celebrate the neighbourhood’s rich cultural history. As the 1961 building was originally a lynchpin in David Rockefeller’s grand plan for the Financial District, nods to its midcentury modern sensibilities in the venue’s interiors abound. From the 40-foot long black walnut bar – reportedly one of the longest in the city – and two dining areas filled with warm wood panelling, polished bronze accents and elegant navy blue banquettes, Manhatta’s timeless yet easy elegance couldn’t be more of the times. Arcing pendant lights, along with granite and silk touches, bring an added richness to the space while never detracting from its main attraction – the view.
‘The design intent,’ says Woods Bagot principal Wade Little, ‘was to create a home in the sky that feels warm and relaxed enough for casual meals and drinks, while establishing a sense of place for the jaw-dropping views. We also wanted to create an uncluttered yet rich design that honors 28 Liberty, one of the first International Style buildings in Lower Manhattan.’
Not to be outdone is the 400-seat Bay Room, which wraps around two sides of the building and singles itself out as one of the largest and highest ballrooms in the city. Like Manhatta, it is also filled with a rotating collection of specially chosen artworks resulting from a partnership between the Artist Pension Trust and the building’s developers Fosun. With guests able to access both venues via a dedicated lobby at the building’s ground floor, the experience of visiting is quite unlike any other.§