Colicchio Restaurant Changes Name After Research Shows Mixed Past

Tom colicchio temple court signature eateries

Every restaurateur wishes their cuisine and service was all their customers cared about. But in the age of Yelp and Twitter, even the smallest conflict in their branding can make or break their efforts.

Case in point: last week, chef Tom Colicchio and Crafted Hospitality announced that Fowler & Wells, their newest restaurant and bar in The Beekman, a Thompson Hotel, is now called Temple Court. This change came after the firm’s learning that the namesake Fowler & Wells’ involvement with phrenology, a 19th century belief system, had historically racist connotations.

Tom Colicchio
Tom Colicchio

Of the change, Colicchio said, “In the mid-1800s, the building where The Beekman in New York City now stands housed the offices of Fowler & Wells, a pair of publishers and phrenologists.  Using their names for my newest restaurant was a way to link us to the location’s past. After we opened, we dove more deeply into the works of Fowler & Wells and realized our research had been incomplete. We discovered facts about their beliefs that go against everything we stand for, both personally and as a company. With this information in hand, we decided to change the name of our restaurant to Temple Court, the original name of The Beekman’s historic building. Other than the name, the restaurant remains as it was originally conceived.”

At Temple Court, Colicchio pulls inspiration from the rich history of the building and his own culinary journey. The dining room menu features old and new classics, reinvented with Colicchio’s signature, seasonal touch. Employing the talents of executive chef, Bryan Hunt, the a la carte and five-course tasting menu feature dishes such as Maine Lobster with chanterelle mushrooms and tarragon, presented in the style of Lobster ThermidorEggplant Agnolotti with pinenuts, tomatoes and sultana raisins; And Dover Sole with gooseberries, inspired by Sole Veronique. Executive pastry chef, Abby Swain, furthers Colicchio’s vision, highlighting seasonal ingredients in desserts such as Tarte Tatin with sun gold tomato and peach and Gâteau Basque with corn and blackberry. Adjacent to the restaurant, Colicchio and team operate The Bar Room at Temple Court. Located in the building’s stunning, nine-story Victorian atrium the bar features a list of hand-crafted classic cocktails paired with similarly inspired bar snacks, main dishes and desserts, including Clams CasinoSteak Tartare, and Millefeuille with blueberries and lemon. Set with rich, jewel-toned furnishings and antique accents, the restaurant and bar serve as a one-of-a-kind setting for dining in lower Manhattan.

Temple Court is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as weekend brunch starting this fall. For more information about Temple Court, visit their website.

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Crafted Hospitality is an award-winning hospitality group led by acclaimed chef Tom Colicchio, founded on a mission to create memorable experiences for guests with warm, approachable hospitality and expertly-prepared menus featuring the best seasonal ingredients.  Beginning with flagship New York City restaurant Craft in 2001, the Crafted Hospitality family of restaurants has grown to include Temple Court and Riverpark in New York City, Craftsteak and Tom Colicchio’s Heritage Steak in Las Vegas, Beachcraft at the 1 Hotel in South Beach and Craft Los Angeles. Tom is also the co-founder of ‘Wichcraft, a fast casual restaurant with 10 locations in New York. For more information, visit their website.

Celebrated for its extraordinary nine-story Victorian atrium and majestic skylight, The Beekman, a Thompson Hotel is located at the epicenter of downtown Manhattan’s revitalized neighborhood, surrounded by some of the city’s most iconic sites including the Brooklyn Bridge and the World Trade Center. Housed in a historic 1881 landmark property and one of New York City’s last architectural treasures, The Beekman features 287 fully-appointed rooms, including 38 suites and two signature penthouses, as well as two restaurants by James Beard Award Winners Chef Tom Colicchio and British restaurant-auteur Keith McNally. Since its opening in September 2016, the property has received unprecedented acclaim and recognition worldwide with awards such as Condé Nast Traveler’s US 2017 ‘Hot List’, Travel & Leisure’s 2017 ‘It List’, USA Today Reader’s Choice Award, Food & Wine ‘Hotel Award’, U.S. News & World Report ‘Best Hotel in New York‘ Award, Tatler UK ‘New City Icon’ Award as well as The New York Landmarks Conservancy’s ‘Lucy G. Moses Preservation Project Award’ and the New York State Preservation League ‘Excellence in Historic Preservation’ Award, among others. For more information about The Beekman, a Thompson Hotel, visit their website.