Natural wood exterior seems misplaced within the concrete madness of New York City. Walk in and look around at all the natural elements to reflect the Filipino environment. The company’s deep company roots take physical form in all the green plants surrounding the space. Taking a long inhale, you’re taken away to a tropical island rich in spice and hearty vegetables. You see the wok fry up the dishes with ease with a sizzle of oil in the pan. The chicken and sauce swirl around each wing getting coated in their signature orange tang. The talented chef takes a large scoop of the carefully coated chicken and gently places it in a serving tray. The rice is cooking as the steam gently escapes the pot. Veggies are being sautéed in a sizzling pan to crisp the outside and warm the insides. All components are carefully plated and served just for you.
Today, the big day, it’s the day I get to marry my best friend. Sitting in the chair looking at new woman, one I don’t quite recognize. With a delicate touch, my mother begins to braid my hair like she’s done my whole life. The rustic charm of the space heightens the romantic feel of the ceremony. As I stare back at the reflection in the patined glass, I think of how I’ve dreamt of this day since I was a child. The venue itself is breathtaking, just like I had envisioned. I, a vision in white, in a beautifully decorated space. Twinkly lights line the exposed brick walls where my beloved family and friends are seated in wooden chairs. Mason jars with tea light candles line the aisle which illuminate the room. At the end, you see my future partner in life, with a beaming smile on their face.
Bringing a unique feeling to the melting pot of New York is the unmatched Potbelly Sandwich Shop. What started as a local neighborhood antique shop that evolved into a beloved sandwich shop chain. It’s distinctive “Potbelly Stove” in every store sparks the creativity behind each stores’ unique design. A smile forms on your face with just a glimpse of the facade. The smorgasbord of smells that captivate your senses draw you in. With a quick scan of the menu, you decide on a classic - signature sandwich with a shake. You notice the patina of the antique decor around the restaurant. The elegant staircase that lines the two-floor establishment, the first of its kind in New York City. A dinner bell rings in your mind that drives your senses into overdrive because you know you are about to delve into deliciousness.
Your brisk, chilly walk to your 9-5 job on yet another Monday morning comes to a halt with the familiar aroma of coffee. You picked up the scent like a police dog and your body levitates toward the origin. Your eyes close as a deep breath fills your lungs, trying to prepare your cold soul. Lingering inside, a smiling cashier greets you and asks what it will be. Tapping your freshly painted fingernails on the wooden counter to choose what precious liquid will grace your presence. With the swipe of your card, the barista powers up the machine. You see the beans quickly fall into place as they heat up. As the machine begins to roast, the barista explains the journey of how each bean is harvested from Brazilian soil and carefully prepped for transport. Drip, drip, the hot liquid fills the cup and the steam warms the barista’s cheeks. He turns around with a smile and coffee in hand. Your body begins to tingle with anticipation. Running your hand along the organic, burlap wallpaper as you take a seat; the cool, metal chairs balance out your warm hands. You glance around as you blow on your coffee. The large windows welcome in light that absorb into your face. Memories of your cold walk here fade away as you take your first sip of the hot brew. Lips begin to tingle as your taste buds fill with satisfaction. The slight warmth lingers as you do not want this moment to end. You take notice of the plants around the shop which the barista told you pays tribute to the Brazilian soil. You graze your hand along the wood, and it prickles your fingers. You are puzzled by the natural shine of the wood being in the concrete jungle of New York City. The barista chimes in and says the shop was designed with real, natural wood and recycled materials to reflect the company’s values. You begin to think of the woodsmen chopping and sanding the wood to place in this shop while whistling a tune. As the clock ticks on the wall, you realize an hour has gone by. You panic as you realize you will be late to work. Sadly leaving the natural and beautiful shop, you end up being late to work. You are forgiven once you hand over a hot and fresh cup of coffee to your boss. Smart move.
This quaint restaurant and bar breaks you away from the hustle and bustle of New York City. The space itself may seem misplaced as if it should have been designed in old times. The sense of old school charm draws you in upon entering and it heightens your sense of curiosity. The initial glimpse of distressed wood detailing with the gleam of patinaed metal décor triggers a warm and cozy sensation that runs through your core. You take a seat in one of the large booths with the soft leather that just feels right upon your touch. As you sink into the comfort, the waiter comes over to offer up a drink. You toss your hat on the table and ask for the signature cocktails menu. The same ones that have been swirling around your head all day will soon touch your lips. The journey of their signature bourbons and whiskeys have a rich, earthy history as the distillery workers have sweated to perfect their concoctions. Starting in the field where the grains blow in the breeze to the distillery where they are slowly matured to be poured into your cold glass. Before you have time to finish your thoughts, the waiter brings you their signature bourbon on the rocks. As the bourbon just reaches the back of your throat, the jazz band appears on their stage to begin. You can hear the soulful saxophone warming up with the light jingle of a tambourine. The sexy, raspy vocalist begins with the strum of a guitar and the sound fills the space. Your mind empties to absorb the whole experience with the cool bourbon starting to warm your body. Faint clapping to signal the song has finished, the room is quiet when foot steps are getting louder. The waiter asks if you would like another, you simply nod. Tipping your head back to swallow the last drop, you glance at the antique paneling along the walls with its worn-out look. As the bourbon is settling, you notice you and the space are alike; a little worn out with a unique charm but still loved by many.