STAGE Is The New Concept From Dean & DeLuca. Check It Out.

 

“I conceived STAGE as a social magnet, as a spectacular futuristic showpiece that attracts and brings people together.”   Ole Scheeren (Architect)

 

I dropped in at STAGE recently. It’s the new chef-led fast food eatery from Dean & DeLuca in the Meatpacking District (29 Ninth Avenue, same building as Soho House).

The plan is to open 1000 STAGE locations around the world – I think that’s overly ambitious.

STAGE was designed by the German architecture firm Büro Ole Scheeren – and it is gorgeous in that very futuristic way that uses lots of gleaming stainless steel and exposed raw interiors. It is not cozy, nor does it encourage lingering – although the architectural firm states the design is intended to serve as a social magnet to bring sophisticated people together.

Additionally, nothing really communicates chef-led to me. I ordered the cooked salmon sandwich. It was good but not remarkable. They were clearly still working out a few kinks e.g. I asked for my salmon without the bun and for some reason that was not do-able. I was told that there would be bowls and other non-sandwich menu offerings over the next few weeks.

I’ve also heard that STAGE will add dinner entrees soon and the coffee and pastry bar will switch to wine and beer at night.

Definitely worth checking out – for the incredible architectural details if not necessarily the food. I may not be raving about it, but it is a must-see if you’re into design.

 

Scroll down for pics.

 

Bottom Line.

Love the concept and the design but there’s something off about the vibe. It may just be start-up kinks that will be relatively easy to work out. Keeping my fingers crossed but I can’t see 1000 STAGES out there in the world. It’s way too sophisticated, elegant, and (for my tastes) a bit too expensive for what it is. Will see how this shakes out – apparently the concept has been kicking around since 2016. They’ve been tweaking it for almost 3 years. Based on my one experience, it’s still a work in progress.

For my tastes, when the decor is so futuristic and sterile, whatever I’ve ordered has to be absolutely yummy to add the coziness factor that I associate with food. That’s the missing element here.

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