Château aims to be an oasis that brings the charm and beauty of Southern France to New York. Château is located in the former parish building of the stunning Limelight Marketplace, a landmark Gothic Revival church, originally built in 1844-1845.
Château is operated by DUAL Groupe’s experienced team of hospitality visionaries, including Derek and Daniel Koch and Philippe Olivier Bondon. Bondon is leading the restaurant as Managing Partner; the Paris-born hospitality expert has operated some of the most storied and influential establishments in St. Barth’s, including Le Yacht Club. Bondon is also the creative director of the restaurant’s interior design and outdoor garden, which is one of the largest outdoor garden spaces in NYC, accommodating 80-100 seats.
The furniture that Château specified for this project was supplied by John Celli Custom Furniture & Design Corp. through their factory, Woodard Furniture who worked with the Dual Groupe supplying wrought-iron pieces for the newly opened restaurant. Total Food Service sat down with Philippe Bondon to discuss the vision he had for seating and how he worked with the team at John Celli Custom Furniture & Design Corp. from concept to completion.
How did you meet and specify JC Custom Furniture & Design for Château’s seating design and why? What do they do differently than other furniture designers and manufacturers?
We met JC Custom Furniture & Design on the floor of a restaurant conference. My eye was drawn to them for their wrought-iron pieces, which reminded me of wrought-iron from Southern France.
What did JC Custom Furniture & Design provide Château in terms of seating and furniture?
JC Custom Furniture & Design provided Château with all the wrought-iron pieces for our outdoor garden dining area, including several round tables, chairs and umbrellas for our dining area and loveseats and low tables for our lounge areas.
Restaurant furniture could either reflect your restaurant theme or be based on it. What was your approach? Was there a certain look and feel in terms of design that fits the look and feel that Château was trying to achieve and how did you collaborate your ideas with the JC Custom Furniture & Design team?
My goal with Château is to bring the charm and beauty of Southern France to New York. As soon as I saw the JC Custom Furniture & Design wrought-iron pieces, I knew we needed them for our outdoor garden dining space. The wrought-iron produced by JC Custom Furniture & Design most reminded me of the style of classic wrought-iron pieces I’d grown up seeing in backyards in the south of France.
Simply put, restaurant furniture is not just an accessory but will also establish the kind of dining atmosphere your customers can expect. Did JC meet your expectations in terms of creating the atmosphere you set out for?
Yes. The pieces from JC Custom Furniture & Design helped us establish an inviting, comfortable atmosphere while still allowing us to maintain a heightened level of restaurant and food service.
Did you stick with a certain type of wood or metal for the construction of the chairs, barstools, and tabletops throughout the restaurant? Please explain.
We decided upon wrought-iron as the base of our outdoor furniture because it is most reflective of what you’d see in the backyard of a family home in the south of France. The wrought-iron set in the verdant garden creates the rich, warm and inviting tone we are looking to create with Château.
Space – the next factor that a restaurant needs to consider. It is assured that you would not want a closely packed restaurant with very less space for the customers as well as the staff to move around nor you would want to waste a lot of space. How was this achieved?
Space was very important to us as we planned the layout of our outdoor garden. The outdoor garden at Château is one of the largest outdoor dining spaces in Manhattan as it seats anywhere from 80 to 100 people. It is very important to us that our customers have ample room to dine and lounge comfortably.
Chairs – The chairs you select should be very comfortable. Customers won’t return back if they find the seating to be uncomfortable. How did you and JC Custom Furniture & Design achieve this?
It is very important to us that diners at Chateau feel comfortable. We worked with JC Custom Furniture & Design to create custom quality, comfortable cushions for the restaurant chairs and love seats.
To see additional wrought-iron furniture selections, please visit www.woodard-furniture.com. For more information on Woodard's wrough-iron furniture collection, please visit www.woodard-furniture.com or contact John Celli Custom Furniture & Design at 212-213-6999 or online at www.jcfurniture.us