Bergdorf Goodman Opens Gorgeous Bar with Michelin-Starred Chef Austin Johnson
Beyond the shirts, suits, and sweaters by Ermenegildo Zegna, Loro Piana, and Brunello Cucinelli that populate the second-floor men’s department at Bergdorf Goodman is a nook that appears to have been plucked straight out of a stylish Left Bank hotel. Conceptualized by Bergdorf Goodman’s store design team, Goodman’s Bar takes design cues from the building’s Art Deco facade and nearby Central Park.
“The concept, as well as the environment and interior, are inspired by the timeless bars and cafés you see in Paris, Vienna, and Milan,” Bergdorf Goodman’s fashion director, Bruce Pask, tells Galerie. “It’s like those special neighborhood in-the-know spots where you can enjoy the best coffee and a paper, stop in with coworkers for a lunch meeting and your favorite tagliatelle, and then after-work aperitivi and wine from an obscure, exciting vintner.”
Vintage Franz Schuster chairs and wingback seating by Tom Dixon, the latter encircling custom backgammon tables, offer a sophisticated space for respite. A custom hand-painted mural by de Gournay creates a striking backdrop, while sculptural Apparatus lighting enhance the distinguished ambience. “The mural is certainly the centerpiece of the restaurant,” says Bergdorf’s SVP Fashion Office and Store Presentation, Linda Fargo. “De Gourney, who we’ve worked on and off with for over 20 years, created a custom mural of Central Park, Bergdorf’s backyard, serving as a reminder of where we are, and bringing the outdoors in.”
But Goodman’s Bar is more than just a sitting area; the establishment adds to Bergdorf’s already renowned dining options, which include the top-floor BG Restaurant and Palette, the beauty-floor eatery revamped by artist Ashley Longshore. Michelin-starred chef Austin Johnson, who has worked with some of the world’s finest toques, including Eleven Madison Park’s Daniel Humm and René Redzepi, cultivated Goodman’s epicurean menu.
Dishes range from runny egg, English cheddar, HP Sauce and jambon de Paris on a toasted English muffin to warm bacon-and-cheddar gougères and potato chips served with sour cream and onion, caviar, chive oil, and horseradish oil. Among the decadent dinner options are house-made tagliatelle with white truffle and Parmesan as well as seared scallops with salt-baked celery root, roasted apples, and pickled Meyer lemon.
“The idea was to give the Bergdorf’s customer the absolute best in class in the food and wine world,” says Johnson. “We wanted Goodman’s Bar to feel seasonal and fresh. We search for the best products available on this side of the world, visiting Union Square market three times a week. I also had fun with the menu, thinking of light snacks and bites that would partner well with Dustin’s beverage selection.”
Of course, no gourmet hot spot would be complete without a world-class bar, and Goodman’s certainly doesn’t disappoint. Here, New York–based master sommelier Dustin Wilson has devised a selection of creative cocktails, including the signature Goodman’s Manhattan, with Templeton Rye, Carpano Antica, and Hella Aromatic Bitters, as well as the Oaxacan Mary, a creative take on the Bloody Mary, featuring Yola Mezcal. The curated wine and spirits list brings together perennial favorites like Krug, Arnaud Mortet and Montevetrano, and exciting new bottlings by Dhondt-Grellet, Girolamo Russo, Jolie-Laide, and Dominio del Águila, among others vintners.
“I wanted to showcase wines from around the globe, both really classic wines that are more traditionally made, balanced with producers that are doing interesting things and pushing the envelope in winemaking, always keeping in mind who the customer at BG is, what resonates with them, but what will also be unexpected to them,” Wilson tells Galerie.
Topping it all off, even the staff uniforms will be high design: Pask collaborated with Maurizo Donadi of Atelier & Repairs, a street-chic brand known for its upcycled denim, to reimagine the classic work apron. Here, vintage herringbone denim is patched with chambray pockets and contrasting embroidery to create a look befitting one of the city’s most stylish destinations.