Behind The Design Of New Manhattan Eatery Felice 56


The Chambers Hotel in Midtown Manhattan has debuted its new Tuscan restaurant, Felice 56, whose interiors are just as impactful as the cuisine.

Part of the Sant Ambroeus Hospitality Group portfolio, the 3,000-square-foot eatery designed by Robert McKinley of Studio Robert McKinley takes its cues from Florence and the surrounding Tuscan countryside.

“The cuisine’s regional aspect is the main influence for the space,” says McKinley of his design. “The color palette is so vibrant and carries such depth. It nurtured a dynamic synergy in both our color and material choices for the restaurant.”

Dramatic high ceilings and a skylight that allows for an abundance of natural light gave McKinley an ideal jumping-off point. In the dining room, vintage Moroccan rugs, custom white-oak tables and custom leather banquettes — set off by custom Italian blackened-steel library lights — create a welcoming atmosphere for patrons. Custom parchment pendants, also from Italy, yield pools of light throughout the space, while oversize mirrors fabricated by David Rothman Framemaker reflect the lush greenery that McKinley was sure to integrate throughout the space.

The warm vibe flows over to the under-lit cocktail area, where custom stools upholstered by Global Leather line the bar. “We wanted the space to have a very natural and open feel to support a sense of nature and the countryside,” says McKinley. “Our traditional material and color choices cultivated this feeling.”

Serving as a centerpiece of the restaurant is a watercolor by Tuscan artist by Fiona Corsini di San Giuliano. The massive work, which hangs along an entire wall upholstered in a Chateau Domingue finish, is the artist’s own interpretation of the Italian countryside.

“I love how it simultaneously ties the room together and also draws the visitors’ attention,” observes McKinley. While the view may not quite equate with the actual experience of dining in the hills of Tuscany, it’s a pretty close second.

Felice 56 is located at the Chambers Hotel, 51 W. 56th St. in New York City.