Published On: Tue, Jul 3rd, 2018

Tulum goes to New York City in one-of-a-kind project

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Anyone passing Sixth Avenue and Canal Street in New York City in the past few days—and, since this is a major commuter nexus, that’s a lot of us—may have been wondering about the 30-foot palm trees mysteriously rising inside a vacant lot. A foray behind the fencing early this week reveals a cacophonous scene that amounts to a minor miracle in process: a tropical oasis materializing in the desert; a sanctuary rising in the concrete jungle—pick your geographical metaphor.

Any way you look at it the new, seasonal restaurant, Gitano NYC, is some kind of paradox, not least because it has gone up lickety-split, and is opening Friday.

James Gardner, together with his business partner Melissa Perlman, owns the restaurant and bar Gitano, in Tulum, including its “Jungle Room,” an addition he designed to look like a rediscovered colonial ruin emerging from the undergrowth.

(Photo: VOGUE)

Both will be part of the New York venue, along with a 50-crop educational urban farm (in partnership with City-As School, Battery Urban Farms and Grow to Learn), with an Intelligentsia coffee bar, a casual clothing boutique, and a “rock sculpture meditation labyrinth,” as Gardner describes what is currently an asphalt corner of the 24,000 square foot lot.

Handsome men in hard hats from the company ManscapersNY are moving large potted plants around, while others are drilling and sawing. Manager Nathy Benguedih, (who previously opened London’s Chiltern Firehouse with Andre Balazs,) dressed in major heels and elegant striped pants in spite of the 90-degree heat, announces that a shipment of black cane bar stools has just arrived in boxes.

These stools and the Florida palm trees aside, the entire restaurant has been designed and built in Tulum and transported here overland in 53-foot trucks. Aside from one, that is, which is stuck in Mexico.

Click here for full article on VOGUE



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