of LILIES, MONARCHS, and WAYFARERS

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of LILIES, MONARCHS, and WAYFARERS

By RACHEL SMALL - Photography FRANK SUN

See the full article in Interview.

The Monarch, Gilded Lily, The Wayfarer–the names evoke something like a fairytale rather than Manhattan's newest hotspots. But they're the latter, created by two men who've forged their way to the vanguard of New York's scene: nightlife and dining powerhouses Eric Marx and Lisle Richards, partners with a combined two decades plus in the business.

The wistful decadence of the monikers is no accident. Marx and Richards devised a lavish pastiche of old Manhattan. "We talked a lot about the return to New York City glamour," offers Richards, who often brings up the '20s and '70s, the most chic of decades, as overarching inspirations. With a sincere elegance, their venues are a break from a certain staged grit that's been dominating on the warehouse party circuit.

Most recently opened is the The Wayfarer, which at first glance slinks with the leather allure of Mad Men. Exploring further guests will spot Brigitte Bardot's coquettish pout, rendered in shadows with black paint near a raw bar. The space is rounded off with disco-era touches: photographs of a fab Diana Ross, young Jack Nicholson, and a bowling Richard Nixon (why not?) decorate the walls. Attached to midtown's Quin Hotel, Wayfarer serves classic American fare during the day. That includes lots of seafood and some quality brunch pastries baked in-house. At night it transforms into a dim retro lounge, lending parties a smoky after-hours charisma. Designed by Meyer Davis Inc., it has the sort of unpretentious energy that kept Shailene Woodley dancing far past midnight at the Divergent premiere after-party.

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