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Beer Bar at cafe centro
New York NY


Tishman Speyer extensively restored and renovated Walter Gropius’ Pan Am Building at 200 Park Avenue, now known as the MetLife Building.  Abutting Grand Central Terminal and sitting over rail lines, the renovation included the sidewalk and the sidewalk furniture.  Freecell was asked to design and produce two exterior beverage bars to serve the outdoor cafes. Our choice of material and form were directly influenced by the adjacency to this important modern icon.

The first bar was for The Beer Bar restaurant and the second for Naples 45 restaurant.  Both are free-standing with 360-degree accessibility for maximum capacity of bar stools, as well as providing wait staff access for serving the surrounding tables.  In plan the bars are a rectangular ring; in section, the two long sides have the shape of a “C” providing knee space for bar stools. This section, designed to fit proportionally to a person on a stool, provides a top horizontal plane as the bar surface, a vertical middle panel of stretched stainless steel screen, and a bottom horizontal as a foot rest.  The two short sides of the bars are accessible to the waiters and enclose large appliances.  Both bars were designed with careful consideration for the necessary equipment: a bottle refrigerator, a tap and keg, touch-screen registers, and glass storage,

The bars are constructed entirely out of stainless steel, chosen for its durability against weather and wear as well as its capacity to reflect the life of the sidewalk. The stretched screen, typically used as an industrial filter, adds an additional level of detail and balance to the brushed surfaces.