John's Pizzeria

Times Square

Solution

Careful restoration of the original sanctuary structure guided the design process. A magnificent, stained glass cupola, the centerpiece of the historic space, was cleaned and repaired along with original lanterns and a sweeping balcony. Fixed seating and an altar in disrepair were replaced by restaurant banquettes, exposed pizza ovens, cloth-covered tables, and wooden chairs. A contemporary steel staircase with mahogany and stone accents rises to the balcony, where additional seating overlooks the bustle below.

An abandoned alleyway from 44th Street to a small, dank courtyard, evolved into a new entry and skylit bar area, heightening the sense of drama as one proceeds into the enormous “cupola”-covered space beyond. Diners are accompanied by an unfolding visual narrative of spectacular murals by artist Douglas Cooper. These multi-story panels celebrate the recollected history of Manhattan with a special focus on the Times Square theater district.