The team behind New York’s Michelin-starred Musket Room has expanded their presence with Raf’s, a European-style dining room and bakery in the Nolita neighborhood of Manhattan.
Housed within a century-old storefront on Elizabeth Street, the concept evokes both Italian and French sensibilities as it brings café society into a new light thanks to a design by Post Company in collaboration with Shadow Architects. “We wanted to combine the intellectual exuberance of a traditional café with the energy of New York City in order to bring a familiar and debonair influence to downtown,” says Post Company partner Jou-Yie Chou. “This new restaurant and bakery is designed as an intimate reprieve for New Yorkers that encourages discourse, gathering, and celebrating.
Mixed vintage pieces sourced in Milan and Paris are arranged against a textured, versatile backdrop that supports an organic transition from day to evening, maintaining a consistent elegance and regard for history. A bright and comfortable front area is outfitted with stone inlaid tables and vintage seating atop contemporary mosaics comprising custom cut marble and ceramics.
The adjacent backbar is clad with marble and detailed with polished nickel rails and candlelight. Rich wood tones adorn the main dining room, which also touts an elaborate ceiling lined with plaster, molded florets, and a handpainted mural of an ethereal sky. “Raf’s is not simply a café, bakery, or restaurant, it is, in New York City fashion, an irreverent by-product of a layered history, its neighborhood, and a legacy of progressive institutions,” Chou adds. “Raf’s is a space illuminated with storytelling and informed perspective, as catalyzed by our collective love for the city and its co-mingling of tradition and boldness.”