A Starr is Reborn

Photography by Adrian Gaut

European fare meets modern art at Veronika

A day-tripper’s New York City adventure is arguably almost always dictated by some version of this formula: An espresso to start before a museum visit, followed by a fancy meal, digestion via a guided bus tour on the history of the Big Apple and maybe a quick nightcap before heading back to Penn Station or Port Authority for the journey home.

But what if you could do all of those things at once?

Stephen Starr, the James Beard Award-winning restaurateur, has opened his latest restaurant in NYC in the international photography museum Fotografiska New York.

The restaurant, Veronika at Fotografiska, designed by Roman and Williams Buildings and Interiors, is situated on the second floor of 281 Park Avenue South, a 45,000-squarefoot historic landmark. Fotografiska is a multi-concept venue with three floors of photo exhibition space, a private event space, cafe, restaurant (Veronika) and adjoining chapel bar (The Chapel Bar at Fotografiska).

Fotografiska New York is the latest global outpost from the internationally renowned, Stockholm-based destination for photography. Inspired by Europe’s classic grand cafes, known for intertwining history, culture and cuisine, Veronika is where the style of old Europe’s fabled establishments meet the modern art world.

The restaurant’s name is a nod to Veronica, the patron saint of photography, displaying the moody qualities of the medium in its earliest forms, as well as the tone, texture and timbre of the “grand cafes” that once populated London, Paris and Vienna before the turn of the 20th century. Design firm Roman and Williams crafted Veronika’s interior, incorporating the building’s original 20-foot ceilings, cornices and archways with new stone and plaster work, opulent brass chandeliers, which emulate crowns with tiny points of light, and luxurious upholstery. A mystical Bohemian forest-inspired mural covers the wall behind the Black St. Laurent marble bar.

Several framed photographs will extend from the exhibits into the restaurant, rotating regularly throughout the year. Veronika seats 146 guests, including 111 in the dining room and 35 in the bar/lounge area. In the adjoining chapel, Starr has opened The Chapel Bar at Fotografiska, a lounge and bar designed by Roman and Williams. Fotografiska is housed within a stunning six-story Renaissance Revival building that serves as the North American headquarters of the Stockholm gathering place for lovers of contemporary photography founded by brothers J a n and Per Broman. Built in the 1890s, the Flatiron landmark stands out with an ornate facade, beautiful interior woodwork, dramatic arched windows and delicate stained glass. The space invites guests to enjoy the art within the exhibit with the ability to simultaneously enjoy beverages while one explores the museum.

Since opening in Sweden in 2010, Fotografiska has become a haven of innovation and free expression. Guided by the brand pillars of inclusion, inspiration, innovation, sustainability and relevance, Fotografiska has become a global name synonymous with contemporary photography.

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