Wythe Hotel—original Brooklyn boutique property—has pioneered the way for Williamsburg’s notorious vibrant hotel and restaurant scene well before the neighborhood became a hotspot for modern hospitality design and innovation. Recently, the hotel’s rooftop space underwent a complete design refresh, creating a warm-weather haunt that encompasses the aesthetic of a classic 1960s Italian summer.
Design Narrative and Background
Lemon’s at Wythe Hotel was conceived by Jon Neidich and Golden Age Hospitality (Acme, The Happiest Hour, Slowly Shirley) with acclaimed chefs Aidan O’Neal and Jake Leiber (Chez Ma Tante) and beverage gurus Jim Kearns (Happiest Hour, Slowly Shirley) and Christine Kang (Soho House) to capture the design and taste of socializing in 1960s Italy. Patrick S Bozeman owner of Bozeman Design designed Lemon’s to pay homage to the fictional character of Senora Lemon, a widowed Italian who was married to an avid home bartender named Luciano. After he passed in 60s, she carried on a tradition of mixing cocktails and socializing at her house on Emilio Romagna. Her day long lunches turned parties became the pastime of legends; attracting luminaries from the creative and hospitality world alike.
“When I sat down with Peter Lawrence, Jon Neidich and Aidan O’Neal and Jake Leiber, we created the blueprint for a time capsule, taking us from modern-day Williamsburg to 1960’s Italy. The goal was to combine warm and friendly, familial service with an Italian influenced menu and beverage program, and picture postcard views of the city skyline. Through the process of distilling our ideas and refining the overall concept, we were able to reflect the exuberance of the sunset, filling the entire room with a warm and vibrant energy and sophistication,” said Patrick S. Bozeman, owner of Patrick Bozeman Design.
The design concept originated following a meeting with Patrick Bozeman and Chefs Aidan Oneal and Jake Leiber that took place right before the Spring 2016 opening of Cafe Alrto Paradiso, where Aidan was Chef de Cuisine. From there, the design and culinary masterminds collaborated on what is currently known as Chez Ma Tante. A second iteration of this unique partnership resulted in the creation of Lemon’s at Wythe Hotel where the team sat down with Peter Lawrence (Wythe Hotel owner) and Jon Neidich and Charlie Smith (Golden Age Hospitality) to develop a blueprint for an Italian summer time capsule in the middle of Williamsburg, which remarkably took eight weeks to conceptualize and build. Patrick Bozeman worked very closely with Wythe Hotel, Golden Age Hospitality and chefs Aidan O’Neal and Jake Leiber to develop a dramatic design that departed from the previous iteration of the rooftop space, which was very dark and heavy.
Recipe for an Italian Summer
From the vintage wallpaper to the fabric choices, the overall design was centered on creating warmth and vibrance on every surface. Each soft finish—grass cloth, brass, lighting fixtures, sisal rugs—were selected to brighten and warm the room to reflect the exuberance of the sunset that fills the entire space in the evening. The removal of wall dividers opened up the space and allowed for pure daylight to light up the space naturally. Realizing that most guests frequent the space for the skyline views, the team positioned low-slung sofa banquettes to encourage conversation amidst the views. Incorporated indoors and outdoors, the team selected a vast array of plants to add another element of natural warmth.