The Black Ant Restaurant

The Black Ant Restaurant

Paul Johnson

The Black Ant
60 2nd Avenue, New York
Tel: 212-598-0300
Designer: Welly Lai

Designer Welly Lai lent her creative hand to the to East Village’s newest Mexican restaurant: The Black Ant. Both surreal and colorful, the design tunes in to the more offbeat tempo of Mexico’s culture. A quirky delight in the macabre proliferates throughout, with black ant stencils checkering the walls, skulls galore, and a saturated, bold color scheme. A rough-hewn bar that serves specialty cocktails anchors the restaurant’s emphasis on a sleek-cum-rustic feel.

The layout is simple enough, creating fluidity and intimacy at the same time by breaking the establishment into four separate dining areas: a lounge, two large dining rooms, and a private dining room for intimate parties. An outdoor patio allows for al fresco dining during warm weather.


Textural elements include exposed red brick and geometric wood paneling. Wall planters add a touch of green vegetation, and overall the eclectic design elements create a vibrant union that resonates strongly with the richness of Mexico’s culture.

It’s worth mentioning that the food is as bold and artfully intriguing as the design. Chicatanas, or The Black Ant’s namesake, will dust many of the restaurant’s cocktails and plates.