September 1, 2010

Empire State of Mind: GoodmanCharlton’s Chic Empire Room Bar

While tourists clamor to get to the top of the Empire State Building, the chic set stays at street level. That’s where you’ll find the Empire Room, a post office re­imagined as a watering hole that pays homage to Shreve, Lamb and Harmon’s art deco vision. GoodmanCharlton designed the 3,400-square-foot Midtown space for Hospitality Holdings, which has a reputation for channeling the cocktail culture of other eras—see the Campbell Apartment bar at Grand Central Terminal.

From the mohair covering the sofas to the mock croc on the banquettes, upholstery exudes jazz-age swank. “Intricate details suggest an earlier era,” Jeffrey Goodman adds. A celestial motif enlivens the carpet, patently patterned marble tops the oval bar, 1,000 handblown glass teardrops dangle from the chandelier, and silver-leafed sconces enhance the luster of Macassar ebony paneling accented by stainless-steel insets. The palette comes straight from the menu: rich brandy, deep cognac, golden cream.

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