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New Restaurant: Telepan

Telepan Restaurant, 72 W 69th St New York, NY 10023

New York Restaurant Insider met with Bill Telepan, chef/owner of Telepan Restaurant which opened this past December, and Larry Bogdanow, whose firm Bogdanow Partners Architects designed the restaurant, to discuss the design and concept of the new space.

Larry: We tried to use natural materials as much as we could. This is all ash on the floors, the wood tables are pecan, a nice domestic hardwood. The stone on the fireplace is called Crazy Horse from a place called Stone Source. It’s sandstone, and every piece of it is different. There were six fireplaces in Santa Fe, and we’ve preserved four of them. The fireplace burners are not in yet, but they will be from a Jade range. It will be a long stainless steel pipe with lots of little flames on it, but they’re using candles for now.

The Space
Bill: This gave us the seating capacity we were looking for, in an area that was pretty much untapped, considering the kind of people that live up here. It’s like a small city on the upper west side, and there are very few good restaurants here. I wanted something intimate, and comfortable. We have seating for 100 here, and 10 at the bar; it’s just the size I wanted.
Larry: It was an existing restaurant called Santa Fe, it was not in great shape but it had the bones of a restaurant. It is a weird space, being two long narrow spaces, and for me that is a real challenge. What we ended up doing is making a pretty good sized restaurant not feel like a huge box.

The Layout
Bill: We always looked at it as 4 spots; the bar, the west wing, and then the two main spots on the east side. Without making the west side “Siberia”, the challenge to Larry was how to make it so that people would want to go over there. Instead of taking people directly from the bar to the space on the west side, we take them through this part of the dining room, and then pass the wine room, so they get to see the wine room, which is a showpiece of the restaurant. People love that.
Larry: The west side is actually a very comfortable scale for a dining room. I have found that the more variety of spaces you have in a restaurant, the better. Some people are naturally drawn to one area and you think it’s not the best table, but some people want that table. Some people want to see and be seen, some people want to hide in the corner, some people want a booth and some people want to sit on a banquette.

The Location
Bill: The thing that I find that was different ten years ago when I had Ansonia to now is that there’s a lot more people up here my age who have young children, and when they go out they have to get a babysitter. They’re sophisticated enough that they want to go out to good a restaurant, but they don’t want to travel the extra hour in a cab going downtown. Cab fares are high, and then you tack on an extra hour for your babysitter. I live in this area so my wife and I go through the same thing. Unless my wife’s working, she works in midtown, I’ll go there and meet her there....but well, not for the next year or so!

Mr. Bogdanow’s contact information:

Bogdanow Partners Architects, PC
305 Broadway, Suite 607
New York, NY 10007

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