Culinaire president Bill Thompson just released more news of the success of Nico Kitchen + Bar, the new restaurant concept from celebrated New Jersey Chef Ryan DePersio in downtown Newark at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. We'd like to thank him for the shout out.
Continuing our strategy of partnering with celebrated chefs to stimulate interest, trial, and loyalty in our restaurant ventures, we opened NICO Kitchen + Bar on February 21 on the ground floor of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.
NICO Kitchen + Bar, the “Italian without Borders” restaurant concept from celebrated New Jersey Chef Ryan DePersio of Fascino and Bar Cara fame, is located in downtown Newark at NJPAC. Known for its power lunch week days, sophisticated happy hour, and contemporary, “shared plates” o fferings, it also provides a delicious prelude to guests attending performances by o ffering a value-priced prix fixe menu before every curtain.
Sleek, strong, and understatedly theatrical in keeping with NJPAC’s overall design, NICO boasts soaring, 32-foot ceilings, arts & crafts-style touches, and warm gold and brown tones throughout. The Bar and Lounge feature dark poured concrete floors, high-backed leather-upholstered booth seating, and 12 dramatic cylindrical pendant lights over the bar. Clear glass and dark oak bar shelves and wine racks create a transom eff ect, with views through to main dining room.
Shea, the restaurant design group from Minneapolis, transformed the interior and nailed our desire to convert a cavernous, 300-seat restaurant created to accommodate pre-performance crowds into an intimate, flexible series of lounges and dining rooms. Theatrically-inspired panels can be lowered on pulleys to segment the space into an 80-seat bistro with 3 private dining rooms for 45, or raised to the rafters to open up the space for pre-performance capacity crowds or catered events for up to 300.
Rave reviews are pouring in, and we’ve got another smash on our hands.