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The Masterminds Behind SoHo's Hottest New Bar Share Their Design Inspiration

By Jimmy Kontomanolis | May 30, 2019 | Lifestyle

SoHo nightlife gets even hotter with the arrival of Butterfly at SIXTY SoHo, an elegant new bar and lounge that elevates downtown New York’s social scene. Intimate, sophisticated and slightly eccentric, Butterfly conjures the spirit of Italian architect and designer Carlo Mollino and his iconic Casa Mollino, with unique artistic touches courtesy of artists like Damien Hirst, who has three never-before-seen “Kaleidoscope” paintings hanging on the walls.


We went behind the scenes with the brilliant minds behind Butterfly to hear about the inspiration, design aesthetic and what makes the bar unique.

John McDonald, CEO of Mercer Hospitality Group

“From a design and visual perspective, we were inspired by many of the rooms that Carlo Mollino, the great Italian architect, had done over his career. Nur and I wanted a room that was out of the norm, against the grain of just another well-designed, nicely appointed room, and combined with strong art from Damien Hirst, that's what came to be with our designer Jason Volenec. “

Nur Khan, Owner & Creative Director of Electric Hospitality

“I envisioned Butterfly to be a room that ticked off a lot of boxes for what NYC needs and has been missing. It blurs the lines between an eccentrically-decorated living room and an intimate bar. A very classy, sophisticated design, yet very approachable. I think Butterfly is a breath of fresh air. It’s a very unique design and vibe. It was created to appeal to people who feel NYC nightlife has been missing something, and to give people a venue like no other currently in NYC.”


Jason Pomeranc, Founder & Owner of SIXTY Hotels

“Butterfly is a classic downtown lounge in all the best ways, built by people who have been in the nightlife scene for decades and know their stuff. When people make the effort to go out now, they want a customized experience that’s intimate and cozy and real, not mass-produced and over-engineered. They want the kind of place where the unexpected happens and the servers remember your name. So, it’s great for the neighborhood, but it also allows us to give our guests an authentic taste of the city after dark without having to leave the hotel, which is rare these days. Anyone who likes to drink and dance and celebrate life with their friends in beautiful spaces will feel right at home. We want guests to feel like they’ve stepped into a friends' living room—their most fascinating friend’s living room.”

Jason Volenec, Principal of Volenec Studio

“The initial inspiration for Butterfly came from the sensual interior design eccentricities of Casa Mollino and the parallels that we saw in Nur Khan’s personal style and taste. However, rather than simply riffing on Casa Mollino, we wanted to personalize the lounge so it felt as if you were stepping into Nur Khan’s private home. At this point Nur reached out to his longtime friends Damien Hirst and Sante D’orazio, both of whom generously contributed significant artworks to the project.” 60 Thompson St.,

Photography by: Photography courtesy of Butterfly SoHo