Mulberry ProjectNovember 20, 2011
Small Wonder Bar of the Year Entry
Name of Bar: Mulberry Project
Location: New York City
Square Footage: 2,000
Open Date: Jan. 15, 2011
Nolita’s restaurant hotspot Mulberry Project brings a unique entertaining experience to the New York City’s downtown scene. Developed by industry leaders, Mulberry Project’s unparalleled experience hearkens back to the golden age of the speakeasy coupled with a strong emphasis on the importance of sophisticated hospitality undoubtedly positions the venue as a premiere neighborhood destination.
Created by hospitality industry veteran Nick Boccio (MPD, Villa Pacri), the space utilizes the bustling Little Italy neighborhood and resurrecting the heyday of the speakeasy lounge. Paving the way for local businesses, Mulberry Project focuses on using high quality, locally grown ingredients in every cocktail and dish with selections that change on a daily basis.
Spearheaded by Beverage Director and expert mixologists from Milk & Honey, The Randolph, Boom Boom Room, and more, the cocktail program features a one-of-a-kind menu boasting hand-crafted beverages developed by a veritable “who’s who” of the mixology world – with notables including Jeremy Strawn and Jasper Soffer, among others. Signature bespoke drinks ranging from $6 to $14 include the Rusty Cage (Bourbon/Rye, Amaro Montenegro, Marascino Luxardo, Bitters), Vodka Fruit Collins (Vodka, Fresh Fruit Selected Daily, Lemon Juice, Soda, Bitters), and French 149 (St. Germain, Gin, Prosecco, Fresh Fruit of the Day), among others.
The menu also features a selection of small plates and entrees developed by Executive Chef Michael “Kiwi” Camplin (Boqueria), highlighting seasonal ingredients and local fare. Paired seamlessly to complement the cocktail program with a constantly evolving menu. Signature dishes include Crispy Pork Belly (Apple Chip, Caramel Fig Compote, Cider Reduction), Bloody Mary Oyster Shooters, Crispy Baby Artichokes (Hazelnut Romansco Sauce, Grilled Scallions) all priced from $3 to $12.
The subterranean speakeasy boasts an elaborate street art collection, paying homage to the popular renegade culture of New York City. Highlighting the back-bar stands a bright crimson mural created by veteran artist Kurtis Kulig (aka LoveMe) drawing attention to the venue’s focal point – the bar – transforming it into a “stage” for cocktail craftsmanship. Towards the back the room stands the DJ booth, featuring state of the art equipment and world-renowned DJs rotating nightly to set the mood for patrons.
Located just past the DJ booth and up a clandestine staircase, the 900-square-foot Outdoor Patio & Garden features a 50-person seated dining area with wooden booths for a group setting, as well as smaller intimate tables for two. Over in the Southeast corner sits a platform, offering diners a dual-level experience, perfect for people watching or a relaxing night under the stars as patrons mingle at the centrally-located bar.
Elaborating on the interior design with artwork by veteran street artist Curtis Kulig (aka LoveMe) and Ian “Kid Zoom,” the Outdoor Patio & Garden uses local talent to create a playful design element. The Patio & Garden’s western wall features a mixed media oversized mural with a graffiti design underlay and stenciled animated designs atop. The original composition is the result of a collaborative effort between renowned downtown virtuoso Bäst and dynamic duo Faile, all of whom pay homage to the 1980s downtown graffiti art movement interpreted for the 21st Century. The base layer’s bold color palate combined with the energetic and abstract graffiti style creates a sense of fun and movement, bringing the wonderfully crafted and monotone stencil work to life. Adorning the east wall is a dynamic piece by Ron English, who brings his trademark POPaganda style to the Garden in the form of a child soldier for peace made up as clown.
Organically stemming from the vital role of each detail of the venue, Mulberry Project creates synergy between socializing, creative cocktails, dining and music for an eclectic mix of guests congregating under one roof in downtown Manhattan. While staying true to the roots of New York City’s small businesses, talent and resources; Mulberry Project is positioned to awaken the bar and dining world, emphasizing service to the individual.
Mulberry Project is located 149 Mulberry Street between Grand and Hester Streets in New York City. The venue is open Sunday through Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. serving food until 12 a.m. and Thursday through Saturday they are open 6 p.m. to 4 a.m. with dinner served until 2 a.m.