The two main rooms of storied midcentury eatery The Four Seasons have gone without an audience since July 30, 2016, the day the lease expired for longtime stewards Julian Niccolini and Alex von Bidder. Behind the scenes, the interiors’ new overseer, Major Food Group, has been perfecting its concept for the storied space, due to reopen as The Landmark Rooms at the Seagram Building as soon as April. The Times got a peek at where the company is at in its process of reimagining not only a menu for the restaurant that practically birthed the power lunch, but also its beloved interiors.
There’s nothing but good news to report to preservationists, it seems. According to the Times, Major Food Group’s plan is to “return the space to its original splendor” with changes contingent on the landmark status of the interiors. In May 2015, the Landmarks Preservation Commission shot down Seagram Building owner Aby Rosen’s request to alter the interiors with an update designed by respected architect Annabelle Selldorf.
It looks like MFG won’t try anything so bold: the wood paneling and ceilings throughout the Pool and Grill rooms have been cleaned, the chain curtains have been repaired where needed, and new carpeting with an abstract oxblood-colored pattern that “would not have looked out of place when the Four Seasons opened in 1959” has been laid. The upper portion of the Pool Room will also get a bar and additional seating.
Some of the new furnishings will take a cue from those that stood in the space before they were auctioned off for jaw-dropping amounts in July. MFG has commissioned Knoll, behind the original dining chairs in the Four Seasons, to create new ones for the restaurant. They won’t be carbon copies, but will be derived from a similar concept and have updated metals and upholstery.
“The rooms are the art,” Jeff Zalaznick of MFG told the Times. “And the more time you spend here, the less you want to change.”
Where patrons enter the Seagram Building downstairs will be reimagined from a segue between the coat room and restrooms to more of a proper entrance where hosts will wait to walk diners to their tables. A winding plant installation designed by Paula Hayes will take up residence in the hallway between the two rooms where Picasso’s Le Tricorne once hung. Under MFG’s plan the rooms will give way to two different dining concepts, The Grill and the Pool. The Grill is poised to open in April.
- Bite by Bite, They’re Replacing the Four Seasons [NYT]
- The Unstoppable Torrisi Triumvirate Will Open The Grill at the Landmark in April [Eater]
- The Four Seasons Restaurant’s Interiors Are Being Auctioned Off Right Now [Curbed]
- A Final Look Inside the Iconic Four Seasons Restaurant [Curbed]
- Farewell to the Four Seasons [Curbed]