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03.12.2010
Open> Cafe
Stumptown by Roman and Williams
Photographs by Adrian Gaut


 

Stumptown

20 West 29th Street

New York, New York
Tel: 212-679-2222

Designer: Roman and Williams


Portland, Oregon planted another stylish flag in New York last fall, with the opening of the East Coast’s first branch of that city’s Stumptown Coffee in the lobby of the (also Portland-based) Ace Hotel at 29th and Broadway. Stumptown’s ideology is very much of-the-moment, treating coffee with a reverence and attention to detail that, until the last few years, was reserved for wine. But its decor, by Ace Hotel designers Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch of Roman and Williams, looks nostalgically back in time, paying homage to the design aesthetic of midcentury Milan. Slender rectangular walnut and brass panels define the bar and cabinets, which are illuminated by a 20-foot-long custom light fixture made up of alternating half-moons of hand-blown milk glass. Watching the baristas roast the beans for your cup, your eye might wander over their shoulder to Standefer and Alesch’s custom-designed shelving system of porcelainized steel, a material the duo have been experimenting with in recent projects like the Standard Grill. Trapezoidal travertine floor tiles complete Stumptown’s clean look. It’s a sleeker and more unified aesthetic than the eclecticism of the rest of the Ace, but with the same penchant for vintage curios. Echoing the Ace lobby’s collections of apothecary cabinets and flasks, Stumptown’s shelves showcase a carefully curated collection of Duane Sorensen coffee machines, handsome old jars, and brass candlesticks.

Julia Galef