Pulino’s Bar & Pizzeria
Designer: Richard H. Lewis and Grayling Design
It might look like it has been around forever, but the pizzeria at the corner of Houston and Bowery is the latest from restaurateur Keith McNally—his 11th and most expensive project to date. As the man behind Balthazar and Schiller’s, McNally knows the value of an authentic atmosphere, and the 130-seat pizzeria is no exception. “It is completely orchestrated as a stage set, and entirely genuine,” said architect Richard H. Lewis, who has worked on all of McNally’s restaurants for the past 15 years. Vintage metal chairs, walls of reclaimed bricks, and piers clad in subway tiles help create the old-school ambience, while tables constructed from police barricades give the restaurant its motto: “Do not cross the line.” Two gas- and wood-fired copper-hooded ovens in the open kitchen add an industrial touch, while bottle cases of reclaimed wood and handmade steel—illuminated by cold cathode tubes that glow a mild peach color—evoke an old-time liquor store. A checked tile floor and booths of pine and painted mahogany give further ragged charm to this brand-new space.