85 Broad Street Cafe

New York, NY
85 Broad Street Redesign

When Superstorm Sandy hit the Northeast, the owner of 85 Broad Street turned to Mancini to capitalize on the opportunity to completely re‑imagine the 85 Broad Street Cafe. With the restaurants of Stone Street right outside the building’s front door, the new cafeteria would have to compete with a huge array of lunch options vying for tenants’ business. On top of that, the space was already at a huge disadvantage, being located below grade with no access to natural light. With these formidable challenges in mind, Mancini addressed them through thoughtful programming and design, rebranding the cafeteria as a destination for both dining and business.


Programmatically, the space was designed to serve multiple functions for the building tenants. Within the larger dining area, the creation of smaller, more intimate spaces for informal gathering was accomplished through the erection of physical barriers, shifts in materiality, and the use of accent lighting. A variety of seating types, including large communal tables clad in stone and outfitted with upholstered chairs, were provided to encourage use by both groups and individuals.

In Budget Design

As with any project, budget sensitivity was critical, so cost-effective solutions were devised that could deliver high impact design. One example is the serpentine screens that flow throughout the space. Built of standard medium density fiberboard coated in a high-gloss sprayed lacquer finish, the curved fins were carefully designed to maximize yield from standard material sizes and repeat in a strict pattern, such that only four distinct profiles were required to generate a dynamic effect. This design element serves many purposes; defining circulation pathways while maintaining a lightness and visual connection across the space.