Local Harlem resident and mixologist Karl Franz Williams and business partner Julie Grunberger opened Solomon & Kuff, a pan-Caribbean gastropub and rum bar in West Harlem’s Manhattanville Factory District.
The 5,000-square-foot industrial space features a loft-style, 50-seat dining area along with a 40-seat lounge area, 2 elevated DJ booths and 2 full bars with seating for 30. Deirdra Govan Designs provided the interior design and branding. Rinehardt Miller Interiors consulted on the construction.
“I tried to pay careful attention in crafting a visual narrative that balances the history of rum and 20th century architectural details with contemporary black and white photography by Barron Claiborne, sultry amber lighting, reclaimed barn wood, garden walls and a display of vintage rum barrels to create a rustic yet refined flow of space and sophistication,” says designer Deirdra Govan. “The fabrication and materials used to construct the space were meant to emphasize the existing industrial and architectural assets and capitalize on the use of natural and aged materials such as wood, brick, stone, metal and distressed leather and chambray finishes.”
The Rum House lounge, for example, features preexisting active concrete flooring painted with a mottled pattern of burnt orange, white and gray. A customized, tufted leather banquet was built along the existing exposed brick wall. Pendant fixtures at the front and back bars, Edison-style filament bulbs and string lights create a vintage, 20th century feel. Expansive, high tin ceilings, intimate nooks and crannies, a fireplace element, structural black beams and floor-to-ceiling windows offering views of the Hudson River complete the design package.