August 28, 2017
The Bromberg Brothers Introduce Blue Ribbon Federal Grill to NYC's New Downtown
FiDi's growing food scene welcomes a new Blue Ribbon concept designed by Asfour Guzy Architects at AKA Wall Street, a hotel residence.
by New York Spaces
NYS: We are so excited to hear that now only is there a new Blue Ribbon concept opening up at the new AKA Wall Street. Can you tell us about the design concept for both and how they integrate with each other?
Edward Asfour of Asfour Guzy Architects: AKA Wall Street is conceived as a serene and sophisticated refuge from the pace and visual cacophony of the city. The lobby, the suites and the furnishings are an elegantly understated refuge. Blue Ribbon Federal Grill is different. It is a convivial gathering place for the hungry neighbor, visitor, and local business community. The restaurant feels very familiar, as though it may have been there for a long time, even though the language here too is thoroughly modern.
Edward Asfour: We have collaborated with Bruce and Eric Bromberg on all of their Blue Ribbon restaurant projects—since the very first one. I think there is a great mutual respect and admiration of our various skills, the willingness to listen to each other, and ultimately a close and endearing friendship that makes working with Eric and Bruce a great pleasure. And I should mention that they can cook a delicious meal!
NYS: What were your favorite design aspects about working on AKA Wall Street?
Edward Asfour: I think the most important aspect is the fact that we were able to create a cohesive design. All the elements of the project work with each other to create a compelling environment and guest experience.
NYS: What was a favorite design concept you incorporated into Blue Ribbon Federal Grill?
Edward Asfour: Taking a traditional neighborhood restaurant concept and making it relevant again.
NYS: How does the décor of Blue Ribbon Federal Grill meld with the menu?
Edward Asfour: Both are elegant, approachable and thoughtfully curated.
NYS: Did the burgeoning foodie scene in FiDi contribute to how you approached the design of the restaurant? If so, how?
Edward Asfour: No, that really was not an influence.
NYS: We love how the room changes from day to night. What design elements did you incorporate to
change the ambience?
Edward Asfour: This is one of the very few locations in the Financial District that get several hours of direct sun light. The windows therefore were left as open and unobstructed as possible to capture as much natural light as possible and also to take advantage of the charming view of Louise Nevelson Plaza. The room is purposely light and airy with simple textural elements to capture the changing light.
NYS: What would you recommend us trying on the menu?
Edward Asfour: Everything!
NYS: What is on the horizon for Asfour-Guzy Architects?
Edward Asfour: We are currently working on several great restaurant projects in New York as well as a couple very large private residential projects up and down the East Coast.
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