As the first restaurant for James Kent, the former Executive Chef at Eleven Madison Park and The Nomad, Crown Shy is a 120-seat casual restaurant discreetly located off of the lobby of a nationally-landmarked Art Deco skyscraper in Manhattan’s Financial District. The Michelin-starred restaurant, which opened in 2019, was hailed as one of the most anticipated restaurant openings of the year in New York. The restaurant’s design leans on the generous proportions of the existing space to create a grand, contemporary dining room, commensurate with the scale of the skyscraper in which it is located.
Inspired by early Modernism and its ties to Art Deco, the restaurant’s seemingly utilitarian design emits a luminous, gauzy quality that is both welcoming and surprising. Crown Shy’s generous proportions are designed to be commensurate with the scale of the skyscraper. Though inspired by early Modernism, the Modellus Novus team wanted the experience to feel anything but classic: the floor was meant to feel like walking on a city sidewalk and the hallway to the bathroom was imagined as an art gallery, elevating the waiting experience.
Photos by Chris Payne
“High ceilings, soft light, and muted shades of beige set an ethereal vibe inside the 120-seat dining room appointed with copper-leather banquettes and orb lighting fixtures.”
Separate ceilings have been built on isolating springs in order to acoustically separate the restaurant from private rooms directly above
70 Pine Street, now home to Crown Shy, was the third tallest building in the world when constructed in 1932
Foot high ceilings emphasize the grandness of the Art Deco skyscraper
Emails exchanged with the general contractor during the construction
Number of Michelin stars awarded within months of the restaurant opening
Number of floors below the restaurant which are needed for food preparation, storage, and other restaurant facilities
Custom illuminated, operable space-dividing screens pair translucent fabric with hidden lighting elements
Custom millwork and metalwork pieces help account for all guest and operational needs
Square footage of kitchens, distributed over three separate floors, all connected by one stair