US fashion designer and style icon Ralph Lauren turns his exacting eye upon New York City in September for the opening of his latest Polo flagship store on Fifth Avenue. But not only will the impeccably restored historic building house the tastemaker’s classic collections, it will also be home to his first-ever café, Ralph’s Coffee, which is set to feature the designer’s private custom blends, each made from USDA organic coffees.
Building upon culinary successes at both his RL Restaurant in Chicago and Ralph’s in his chicly appointed St-Germain-des-Prés outpost, the second-floor café will serve coffee, herbal teas, freshly pressed juices, pastries and assorted sweets – including brownies made using his grandmother’s recipe – as well as an array of sandwiches. In typical Lauren style, no detail has been overlooked, from the mosaic-tiled floors, soaring aged-oak ceiling and artisanal lighting to the marble tabletops, antique bistro chairs and hand-hewn wooden benches. Servers’ outfits have been carefully conceived, naturally – their tailored khakis with pinstripe shirts, signature green woven ties and butcher’s aprons add to the mise-en-scène.
November will see the opening of The Polo Bar & Restaurant – Lauren’s first restaurant in Manhattan – in an adjacent, multilevel space on 55th Street. Inspired by both the atmosphere and menus of classic American diners, the main room will accommodate 150, while a more intimate private-dining area will be available for smaller parties of 16. Guests can relax in a convivial space complete with equestrian art, dark-leather banquettes and brass finishes, as well as in a cosy first-floor bar with a fireplace. The menu will mix many of the designer’s favourite dishes – the Polo Bar Burger and meaty crab cakes among them – paired with classic cocktails including Martinis, Manhattans and Sidecars. Something to toast indeed.