Introducing: 33 Greenwich

31st May, 2017

All my life, creating spaces has given me the most pleasure of any creative pursuit — whether it was the doll houses of my childhood, my college dorm room, first proper apartment in Brooklyn, or most recently, our bungalow in Miami Beach and pied-à-terre in Manhattan.

Environmental design is something I have always dreamed of doing professionally, and I was finally afforded the opportunity to flex that muscle beginning about a year and a half ago, when our friend Danny Volk (owner of The Upsider) invited Zach and me to pitch a concept for the direction of a new restaurant venue he was considering on Greenwich Avenue.

Our two-year-old consulting company, Kizmet World, was up against several other, larger agencies for the commission, but Danny took a chance on us, and allowed us to lead the vision for the renovation of the space, the concept for the menu, and the design of every single aspect of the experience — from the interiors to the branding to the food + beverage programs, and everything else you can possibly imagine in between. What a dream!

We took on the project with 24-hour-a-day enthusiasm, a year of renovations ensued, and the result of our combined dreams and hard work — 33 Greenwich, a coastal Southern-inspired townhouse diner and proper watering hole — finally opened to the public about a month ago. It’s been a delicious whirlwind ever since, with rarely an empty seat to be had in the house.

Our handiwork has so far landed us a full page in Vogue — a career highlight for yours truly — and a beautiful writeup in WWD. We couldn’t be happier or prouder of the place, and I’m thrilled today to give you the inside scoop on our design picks and process.
ABOVE|  the patio at 33 Greenwich, graciously landscaped by our dear friend and favorite plant lady Lily Kwong  BELOW|  a sneak peak from the restaurant’s entryway of the mural we commissioned from artist Kelly Marie Beeman  As was our custom at Faena Bazaar (the Art Basel shopping pop-up we recently created in Miami), for 33 Greenwich we chose to collaborate with artists for every touchpoint possible. The most significant of these creative collusions was the commission of a 30-foot mural which runs along the restaurant’s western wall, hand-painted directly on site by the artist Kelly Marie Beeman, whose work I’d admired for years on Instagram. The paint for it was generously donated by our friends at Ralph Lauren Home, and the colorful cast of characters it depicts set a chic and celebratory tone that perfectly defines the mood for the entire room.
ABOVE + BELOW|  Kelly Marie Beeman at work on the 33 Greenwich mural, using Ralph Lauren paint ABOVE|  the dining tables and chairs were custom-designed by Zach + me, while the wall sconces are painstakingly sourced 1980’s treasures by legendary lighting designer Ron RezekABOVE + BELOW|  we had 33 Greenwich’s long farm table custom made from 100-year-old reclaimed French oak // we also designed the metal + leather chairs that run its length, while the king + queen chairs at either end are a 1980’s invention of the architect + Memphis Design Group founder Ettore Sottsass // the pendant lights were made in the 1950’s by Sergio Asti, and the 1970’s soft sculpture flag art is by Paul Von Ringelheim ABOVE + BELOW|  at the far end of the farm table, we continued the conversation begun by Kelly Marie Beeman’s mural, and hung a ‘family portrait gallery’ featuring the diverse sorts of faces we hoped would soon fill the room — from pretty young things to old dudes to drag queens! ABOVE|  throughout the space, we combined reworked vintage gems with our own furniture designs, to achieve an environment that feels intimate, inviting, and endlessly livable  BELOW|  one of many works on display by the artist Peter KeilPrior to renovations, 33 Greenwich presented myriad design challenges. The ceiling was our biggest headache: claustrophobically low and ribboned with structural metal beams that support the condominium building upstairs with little regard for aesthetic symmetry below. Our solution was to paint them all a high-gloss ivory and install miles of crown molding, to give gravitas and architecture to what was previously an eyesore.

We seamlessly filled in the now-oversized-checkerboard ceiling squares with commercial grade soundproofing fabric — and though most diners won’t directly notice, I believe this is our best example of design ingenuity in the whole restaurant. The sound quality is incredible; a difficult feat in an open-format, low-ceilinged, concrete-floored room. No matter how packed the place is, or how loud the music plays, you can always hear the folks talking at your table — even at a whisper.
ABOVE|  a 1964 lithograph by Roy Lichtenstein hangs between two modern collage works by my childhood friend Miguel Rangel // tables and chairs by Kizmet World

Those concrete floors were another problem to be solved. Inherited from the prior tenants, we loved their worn terrazzo texture but hated their orange-reddish tint. To rip them out and replace would have put us tens of thousands of dollars over budget, so instead we sanded them down to remove the ugly epoxy color that sat on top of the terrazzo, then stained a simple checkerboard pattern directly onto the concrete and sealed it in place with a matte finish. I love that they look like they have been there forever, and will only improve with age.
My proudest design moment of all; however, is the six center dining tables that we custom built at a friend’s art studio in Miami. We carved five clover shapes and one big kidney bean, all supported by playful geometric bases. The tops are each unique; I hand-painted every one of them with lively diner-inspired patterns, then sealed the artwork under six layers of industrial liquid glass — surprising and delighting diners with works of art right under their plates.
When we first began to define the design direction for 33 Greenwich, Zach and I made a mantra by which to measure every decision: it would be a place where ‘Tom Waits shares a Tom Collins with Tom Wolfe’. In practical terms, this meant that we wanted to always balance diner-style accessibility with classic townhouse elegance — and I believe these tables well embody that ideal. Plus, they’re so damn fun to eat on! ABOVE|  the plating of 33 Greenwich’s tuna carpaccio was inspired by one of our unique table designs // I am working on a second, limited edition series of them now, to be sold this fall at the Consort stores in New York and LA. Stay tuned!ABOVE|  33 Greenwich’s Rotisserie Short Rib and unbelievable biscuits  BELOW|  the Lil’ Gem Salad, the recipe for which is in the special Met Gala edition of Vogue magazine When Zach and I kicked off this project, Danny’s one requirement was that we do American food, and the three of us quickly agreed to take an elevated southern slant. While the concept came easily, finding the right talent to execute our ideals did not. We knew we wanted a strong cocktail program, to distinguish 33 Greenwich from the many wine-heavy restaurants in the area, and after much discussion we realized that the only man for the job was Darren Lampione, whose boozy concoctions we had fallen in love with at Deer Mountain Inn upstate.

The food program was much harder to nail down. Too many chefs interpreted the southern reference heavy-handedly: we were looking for a lighter, more feminine approach. After months of disappointing tastings, our compatriot Lily Kwong (who also collaborated with us on the landscaping of 33 Greenwich’s terrace), suggested we meet her friend Anne Thornton, who was in the process of moving back to New York after a stint in Los Angeles. It was love at first bite.

Anne spent the past several years as executive chef of Little Pine, the musician Moby’s vegan restaurant in LA. Although there is plenty of meat on the 33 Greenwich menu, Anne ensured that there would be life on every plate, bringing buoyancy, modernity, freshness — and plenty of vegetarian dishes — to the table.
ABOVE|  Anne Thornton’s fried chicken, served with watermelon bbq sauce + garnished with (highly addictive!) pickled watermelon rind  BELOW|  tuna carpaccio, roasted scallops, bone-in veal chop, sweet potato puree, biscuits and Beet Street cocktail ABOVE|  33 Greenwich Lamb T-Bone  BELOW|  the Mr Manhattan cocktail ABOVE|  the best fried green tomatoes you will ever eat!  BELOW|  the cocktail oysters are a must-try house signature, as is the Garden Party cocktail ABOVE|  Chef Anne Thornton’s Food Network show, Dessert First, proved her prowess with puddings and pastries — and the sweets at 33G do not disappoint  BELOW|  the 33 Greenwich cocktail menu, designed in collaboration with artist Maxwell Pepper ABOVE|  our logo designs + branding work for 33 Greenwich  BELOW|  with my ride-or-die Kim Swift, wearing a top by Dries Van Noten ABOVE|  the Kizmet cocktail, an after-dinner delicacy  BELOW|  opening night with our studio manager Laura Sierra and makeup artist Porsche Cooper ABOVE|  the 30-foot long, solid terrazzo bar was a risky design choice, and we have no regrets // this corner seat is my favorite perch  BELOW|  closing the front doors at the end of opening nightPHOTOGRAPHY FOR THIS STORY|  by Daniel Kreiger, David Prutting, Lindsay Brown, Morgan Ione Yaeger, and Reid Rolls

  • Czech Blondýn

    Oh, cute! Amazing place and food! Wow! Beauty…

    http://www.czechblondyn.blogspot.cz

  • I feel like I’ve been immersed in a modernized but still retro Mad Men’s style set. So much nostalgia and that food looks fantastic!

  • My So Called New York Life

    Class Act!
    Unlike some former Texans who copy other artists’ work and pass it off as their own, you and your significant other put unique spins on everything you do. You have managed to stick to your roots while assimilating the restless creativity of New York. The key to all successful people is that they embrace their history & culture, rather than deny it in favor of parroting others. As Oscar Wilde aptly stated, “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken”.
    Congrats Kelly. You are a true success. You don’t have to parade around New York bare-ass’d taking vapid selfies of yourself or advertising to others how great your life is…You truly have a great life. You have an artist’s soul.
    Both you and Zach have created a brand based on creativity and passion, and have managed to successfully avoid the constant need to seek the approval and praise of “Insta” sycophants.

  • primadarling.com

    Congratulations! The decor is amazing and unlike any other. I love all the art you incorporated, and great solutions for the ceiling and floors. The food and cocktails look amazing as well. I can’t wait to try it!

  • Kay Nguyen

    Such a beautiful restaurant and the food looks amazing! Love your blog <3

    https://www.myblackcloset.com/

  • Seon Jae Kim

    Everything about this place is fine art! <3

    -Sunny, http://writemy.report

  • alittlenutmeg

    Have missed the regular posting of the Glamourai days of yore (I’ve been reading your blog since I started high school!) but now we can certainly see why you’ve been kept busy with other endeavors. Looks great!

    • theglamourai

      Thanks for reading + for understanding. I wish I had time to post more often!

      XOK

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TheGlamourai is a webzine produced by Kelly Framel, a multi-media creative director based in downtown New York (but constantly bouncing around the world). Part fashion blog, part glossy mag, part fantasy travel portal, it's your ultimate online destination for stylish daydreams. Tune in for inspirational editorials, beauty tutorials, outfit ideas, DIYs, jet-set travel tips and more!
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