Howard Street NYC: The Most Creative and Cool Stretch of Downtown

 

Howard Street is where you will find the newly opened, totally magnificent Roman and Williams GUILD (photo above).

It’s remarkable how much retail and culinary creativity has found its way to this short span of Howard Street – a mere 5 blocks from Center to Mercer Streets.

And that’s not all. Isn’t it beyond poetic that Howard is now anchored at one end by Le Coucou and at the other end, by the brand new La Mercerie (part of the GUILD). Both are part of the Starr Restaurant Group (and it gets even better? weirder? read below).

  •  Both restaurants were designed by Roman and Williams (my favorite design firm)
  • Le Coucou, located on the ground floor of the 11 Howard Hotel is helmed by chef Daniel Rose (formerly of Paris’ Spring restaurant). It has been one of the hottest spots in town, almost impossible to get a reservation – even for hotel guests.
  • Le Mercerie Cafe, in the newly opened GUILD is at 53 Howard. It is not yet open for dinner (daytime service only). The chef is Marie-Aude Rose, who also cooked at acclaimed Paris restaurant Spring — which is where she met her husband Daniel Rose, the chef at Le Coucou. How crazy is that?

Scroll down for more Howard Street highlights.

 

11 Howard Hotel @ 11 Howard Street

Hotel Lobby

  • Love this hotel – the design is very Scandi – but I must confess that some of my clients/friends are NOT fans. Rooms are too small they say and some have complained that being in a room near the hotel’s Blond bar, gets horrendously noisy.
  • Le Coucou is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is one of the most beautiful interiors I have seen, definitely worth checking out.
  • Another option for breakfast is the hotel’s Library, a cool spot to have a meeting, catch up on work or just chill.
  • The Oliver Gustav Studio on the ground floor of the hotel is worth checking out as well. Beautiful array of items for the home with a Scandinavian aesthetic.

Le Coucou entrance

Le Coucou dinner service

11 Howard Library

 

Tom Dixon, 19 Howard

Very expensive furniture and home furnishings (lamps etc). A little too flashy for my liking but worth checking out.

 

Smile-To-Go, 22 Howard

Very cool outpost of the original Smile on Bond Street. A great spot to get coffee, sandwiches and pastries.

Changing the menu board

Capuccino

 

Sleepy Jones, 25 Howard

High-end pajamas and robes. Fun store and it smells amazing!!

Always amusing windows

 

Rick Owens, 30 Howard

LOVE LOVE LOVE this store. Has to be one of the MOST beautiful retailers in NYC.

Staff is fantastic!! Major shout out to Milton.

I absolutely adore these clothes but even at 50% off way beyond my budget.

Sculpture by Michele Lamy

Incredible cement staircase

MILTON!!!

 

Opening Ceremony, 35 Howard

The original pioneers of this stretch of Chinatown/Soho all the way back in 2002.

However, I am underwhelmed by the store now (may be that Rick Owens was still so on my mind).

OC may have been edgy back in the day but today it looks a little cheesy.

 

The Mask Bar, 36 Howard

Small space but huge selection of Korean face masks.

 

Stadium Goods, 47 Howard

Gigantic retail & consignment store showcasing rare & limited edition sneakers.

I was intrigued by their selection of Supreme x Vuitton items until I zoned in on the prices: wallets for $2000!!

 

Palace Skateboards, 49 Howard

Modern, minimalist NYC outpost for this hip London-based streetwear & skateboard brand.

LOVE the vibe of this store but I hear it is being revamped in January to become more “flashy” – undoubtedly to be more competitive with Stadium Goods which is always jampacked vs. Palace’s more minimalist crowds.

Palace

Skateboard videos all shot in London

This Gore-Tex “waterproof” display case is fabulous. Unfortunately, this jacket sold out Day 1.

 

AND THEN THE CRÈME DE LA CRÈME:

GUILD by Roman and Williams, 53 Howard

This has to be the most gorgeous space in all of Manhattan not just on Howard Street.

Currently includes 3 separate elements:

Emily Thompson Flower Store up front. Emily does all the exquisite flower arrangements throughout the store and the restaurant. She also does the flowers at Le Coucou, just down the street.

La Mercerie Café – all the furniture and tableware are from the Roman and Williams collection and available for purchase in the store

The Roman and Williams Guild Store – offering everything from tables, chairs, couches, beds, lighting fixtures and home goods – breathtakingly beautiful.

Still under development downstairs: Library and Private Dining Room. The dining room will seat 24.

Emily Thompson Flowers (and that’s Emily on the right with the hat on)

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