Mexico City in a Chinatown basement is destined for battle and for beauty
When I first heard about Pulque, an agave beverage known to get a working man through the day, I should have ordered a semi tanker full of the fermented nectar to see this project through. To create Pulqueria required a full-gut renovation of a once-famous restaurant, and combing the adjoining cellar property. It would take setting a legal precedent with NYC’s Department of Buildings and a deal with a voodoo doll to get this one open.
From China to Mexico City via Indianapolis
The portal from Chinatown to Mexico City is flanked by 1930’s nickel-cast Art Deco railings salvaged from a period building from my hometown of Indianapolis. There are many similarities between the aesthetics of the Aztecs and Art Deco, and it was fun to blend these two worlds through the lens of Pulqueria.
Lighting with lines
Lighting is hidden in gold Deco mouldings that flanked the ceiling beams. This created a soft up-light, further warmed by the thatched reed mats affixed to the ceiling. This design drops a steady warm glow throughout the dining space.
Fun with feathers
Weaving the similarities between Deco and Aztec, I dressed a classic gold theatre sconce with colorful feathers. This was also a good way to add some visual interest to a brick wall basement.