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Open> Restaurant
Berman Horn Studio's design for Maysville sheds light on the landscape of bourbon.
Pete Deevakul

17 West 26th Street
New York
Tel: 646.490.8240
Architect: Berman Horn Studio

When designing Maysville, a restaurant and bourbon bar, architects Bradley Horn and Maria Berman of Berman Horn Studio established a piece of the American South in the middle of Manhattan. The establishment, whose name is derived from the Kentucky port town from which bourbon was shipped down the Ohio River during the Revolutionary War, “is an upscale redefinition of the historic tavern,” said Bradley Horn.

A gold-leafed backdrop illuminates an array of Bourbon bottles displayed in white oak–paneled cabinets, lending an amber glow and warm ambiance to the room. Gray grass-cloth clad walls and brass sconces fill the 2,500-square-foot space with earthy textures that evoke the traditional atmosphere of mid-century southern taverns.

But the restaurant’s most prominent design feature is an illuminated paper lantern ceiling. Inspired by aerial photographs of Kentucky farmland, the architects replicated the famous Jeffersonian Grid, implemented in the early 1800’s to organize the southern territories. The lanterns are made from oiled craft-paper attached to metal panes with silk tape. In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, the luminous ceiling is also sustainable—a single warm white LED-bulb illuminates each lantern.

The architects, working with the Landmark Preservation Commission, further emphasized the historic nature of the bourbon-centric eatery by completely restoring the facade, which had previously lost any trace of its historic design.

Vincenza DiMaggio