By Christina Najjar | May 2, 2019 | Food & Drink
GRUPO GITANO announced today the opening of GITANO Garden of Love, an outdoor restaurant and bar that seats 450 guests and spans a 24,000 square foot city block. Located at 76 Varick Street in Hudson Square, at the intersection of SoHo and Tribeca, Garden of Love is framed by the Freedom Tower and the downtown NYC skyline. Guests are transported to the lush, tropical jungle of Tulum with 30-foot coconut palms and hundreds of tropical plants, a giant black Bedouin tent, twin wood pergola dining decks and an open fire kitchen.
This season, GITANO Garden of Love will offer a culinary star-studded line-up of chefs who will be creating an exclusive menu to be paired with signature and new cocktails. Compelling sustainability and community initiatives including clean energy, urban farming education, and mindfulness programming.
“We are honored and thrilled to connect our homes in Tulum, Mexico, and New York City,” said James Gardner, CEO, and founder of GRUPO GITANO. “GITANO was born in Tulum and is traveling the world with its first stop in NYC. We are on a mission to share love and happiness, to surprise and delight our guests while minimizing our impact and giving back to the community. We are excited to unveil a collaboration with five of the world’s sought-after chefs who share a passion for Mexican cooking. We are partnering with clean energy innovator SmartFlower, we will educate local public-school students in our urban farm and are inviting the community for daily sunset meditation sessions with leading mindfulness teachers around our reflecting pool.”
GITANO Garden of Love will introduce an innovative, highly curated menu concept created by five of the world’s most impressive international chefs, inspired and connected by their shared love of Mexico and the Yucatán.
The Chefs will collaborate with the GITANO culinary team headed by Executive Chef and Partner Yvan Lemoine. Each Chef will create a ceviche-inspired and taco-inspired dish. The menu will be complemented by some of GITANO’s favorite classic dishes.
GITANO began as a Mezcal Bar & Kitchen in Tulum and has a strong cocktail heritage. Juices are made fresh daily using local seasonal ingredients and herbs with an impressive list of 50+ Mezcals. In NYC, Veteran Head Bartender Jeremy Strawn, an owner in Mulberry Projects and formerly of Death & Co, will brilliantly execute GITANO’s iconic cocktails at the Garden of Love while also adding new, innovative and refreshing tropical libations.
GITANO brings a unique point of view to hospitality and the entire experience with its open, paired back, tropical, minimal approach to design. The Garden of Love is both a feat of design and logistics, transforming an empty, dusty lot with no utilities into a full-service restaurant and bar seating 450 in just 3 months that was created in 3 countries and 6 geographic locations. Guests enter from the north, through a wood pergola, punctuated with the iconic GITANO pink neon sign, framing the Freedom and Herzog & de Meuron towers, onto a long, stone runway lined with 30-foot coconut palms. The central dining bar housed in a 40’x40’ matte back tent custom made in Canada is flanked by oversized, twin dining decks covered with wood pergolas and lined with comfortable banquet seating, an outer open-air lounge of wood benches, marble cocktail tables, and bohemian umbrellas. All structures and furniture, including wood and concrete banquets and a steal open kitchen, were designed, built and imported from Tulum. A total of 7,000 items shipped on 6 x 53’ trucks across the Mexican-US border. The back of the house is equally impressive with two state-of-the-art 53-foot kitchen trailers, designed and imported from California.
Focused on sustainability, protecting and preserving the environment, GITANO Garden of Love will be donating a percentage of the proceeds from the Chef’s Dream Team special menu to support environmental initiatives. All single-use plastic has been banned. GITANO Garden of love is also collaborating with Boston based clean energy innovator SmartFlower which provides solar power to the property.
GITANO Garden of Love will re-launch two initiatives to connect and give back to the community. The Urban Farming & Nutrition Education initiative will be led by Annie Harrold previously of Urban Battery Farms and Naima Freitas from City-As School. This farm features 20 raised beds with over 50 crops of herbs, vegetables, fruits, and edible flowers. Last season GITANO Garden of Love hosted nearly 1,000 public school students and the number is expected to more than double this season. The space will also conduct daily, tech-enabled, guided sunset meditations led by meditation teacher, international bestselling author, and transformational speaker and coach, Sah D’Simone as well as other leading mindfulness teachers.
Photography Courtesy of Gitano