Demi Monde, the below-ground cocktail bar and restaurant now open in the Financial District, has an attitude that sets it apart from its relatively tame neighbors. Dieter Cartwright of design and branding team Warren Red describes his team’s effort to create a visual identity for the space: “We developed this idea about people who throughout history are marginalized for having too much fun—the demimondes, the bohemians.” To this end, Demi Monde functions as both restaurant and lounge, with spaces to accommodate a variety of uses.
A sunken lounge anchors the room, while expressive textures delineate the more intimate adjacent spaces. Diners descending the staircase are faced by the bar and a glossy red wall that leads to a twelve-seat chef’s table opposite a secluded lounge area with floor-to-ceiling drapery. More intimate lounge space is screened in by permeable rope partitions and covered in kaleidoscopic wallpaper.
While the team’s intention was to break up the room into more intimate seating areas, the space maintains a sense of openness and cohesion. The sunken banquettes function as benches on the upper level corridors to promote engagement with the spaces that flank it. “We wanted to foster table-hopping and make sure there are no dead ends,” explained Dieter.