Opening: Gerber Group and Domingo Zapata Open Studio

Gerber Group debuts Studio (201 Park Ave. South; at 17th Street), a first-time collaboration with New York-based contemporary artist Domingo Zapata, at W New York – Union Square. Housed in the lounge space formerly operated as Lilium, and incorporating a one-of-a-kind large-scale installation from the artist inspired by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Studio is a completely unprecedented concept, bringing a new vision of nightlife to the Union Square neighborhood.

Gerber Group and Domingo Zapata Open Studio

“We are ecstatic to debut this truly unique venue in partnership with such a talented artist as Domingo Zapata,” said Scott Gerber, Principal and CEO of Gerber Group. “His aesthetic is bold, daring, and consistently cutting edge – a perfect fit for our property at W Union Square, which always looks to provide guests and local tastemakers alike with unique and innovative nightlife destinations.”

Studio, which represents both Gerber Group’s first venue partnership with a visual artist, as well as Zapata’s first full-scale hospitality collaboration, serves as a transplant location for the spontaneous VIP and celebrity-filled parties at the artist's lavish Gramercy Park townhouse. A casual take on luxury lounging, Studio reflects the artist’s personal taste in revelry.

“As an artist, having a space to share my work with the public is an honor and a joy,” said Domingo Zapata. “I’m thrilled to be part of this collaboration that will offer patrons an exclusive peek at my creative process, all while enjoying a gold standard of hospitality that Gerber Group is known for.”

Upon arrival, guests will descend into Zapata’s richly imagined interior world, falling down a veritable “rabbit hole” as they experience Alice-inspired murals leading down to a subterranean lounge. Once inside, a continuous, vaguely narrative mural runs through the space’s perimeter. Inspired by the style of his own Gramercy Park studio, Studio’s shadowy enclaves and seating areas are reupholstered in rich velvet red fabrics, and allude to a glamorous old New York feel contrasted by the rawness of open ceilings and untainted floors.

In addition to premiering an exclusive one-of-a-kind installation that originates from the artist, additional elements of the lounge are also be personally curated by Domingo Zapata, including the live musical performances, cocktails and guest list. Through the space, he will explore his creativity by blending art, fantasy and music to create an atmosphere of endless possibility.

The menu offers an expansive collection of classic cocktails including a “create-your-own” gin and tonic bar with a variety of housemade tonics and seasonal garnishes, as well as Spanish-influenced creations such as sangrias, Pisco cocktails, mojitos and more. Gerber Group’s executive chef David Nichols features comforting small plates like arancini, seasonal pizzas, charcuterie and bruschetta.


Suggested Articles

When cocktails are an integral part of a brand and the guest experience, how an operator approaches menu changes is of the utmost importance.

Fat Tuesday is a bar concept made famous by its frozen drinks. Now, the brand is offering franchising as a way to expand their brand.

As minimum wages and healthcare costs rise across the country, owners and operators are seeking new, creative ways to cut costs and stay profitable.