TAO Group’s newest opening, Vandal, is setting out to prove that “street food” doesn’t only work in the context of carts, trucks and stalls. The Rockwell Group-designed space, located on Bowery, spans a staggering 12,000 square feet and boasts open dining areas, a “secret garden,” subterranean lounge, private dining spaces, and a curated “flower shop” at the entrance.
Though the interior is arguably eclectic, it has also been keenly curated with an eye toward marrying street art with the restaurant’s globally influenced fusion food. Celebrated British street artist Hush was instrumental in influencing the eatery’s art direction. In addition to contributing his own large-scale murals to the decor, he tapped seven other street artists (or “vandals”) to lend their unique aesthetic to the space.
One of our favorite pieces outside of the murals is a 12-foot-tall breakdancing rabbit. For those interested in visiting, you’ll find it nestled into a nook at the entrance. Rockwell Group was so inspired by breakdancing culture they actually recreated a now-discontinued shade of Krylon spray paint called “Icy Grape” specifically to lacquer the rabbit. The hue was so beloved by taggers that the paint company actually stopped making it partly to discourage graffiti on city streets.
199 Bowery St.
New York, NY
Photographer: Bryan Luna for Highsnobiety.com