Tonchin Japanese Restaurant, New York, NY Interior Design, Brooklyn Commercial Building, Architecture Photos

Tonchin Japanese Restaurant in New York

Dec 29, 2021

Design: Carpenter & Mason

Location: New York, NY 10018, USA

Tonchin Japanese Restaurant NY

Photos by Nicole Franzen

Tonchin Japanese Restaurant

Carpenter & Mason love Japan. So when the Sugeno brothers approached them to design a Japanese restaurant that didn’t feel traditionally Japanese, they were all were all in.

Tonchin Japanese Restaurant New York Tonchin Japanese Restaurant New York

Although they were born into the Tonchin restaurant empire, Tonchin New York is Anan and Toi’s first venture on their own – in a new city, with a new look and it was important that the aesthetic of the restaurant reflect the brother’s own sense of style, which is both playful and sophisticated.

Knowing almost no one in the city, Anan and Toi looked to us to help curate the design team and we were lucky enough to bring in all our favorites, including graphic designers LMNOP and ceramic artist Helen Levi.

Tonchin Japanese Restaurant New York

Carpenter & Mason’s material and formal choices were inspired by traditional Japanese textiles, colors and techniques (Boro, Kintsugi, Shou Sugi Ban), but with a sense of playfulness to keep our references from feeling too heavy and too literal. We worked closely with LMNOP from day one to ensure that the graphic and interior intentions were aligned – and the two were often inspired by each other.

Tonchin Japanese Restaurant NY

The custom plaster wall finish echoes the richness of raw indigo dye. Bright red barstools punctuate the otherwise blue and white tiled bar. A custom concrete aggregate bar top adds pink tones to keep the bar from feeling too serious. Wooden table tops and booths in rich, dark wood tones take their cue from a classic Japanese vernacular. The Storefront is fabricated from polycarbonate panels, which are now common in modern Japanese architecture. And a framed photo of the first Tonchin is hung in the restaurant as a homage to the restaurant’s beginning.

Since ramen is such an all-hours meal, we created a variety of seating typologies so that anyone can feel great eating Tonchin ramen, regardless of the situation (group lunch, romantic date, office dinner) and time of day.

Tonchin Japanese Restaurant New York

As with any design project, some of our favorite moments came from healthy mistakes/mis-steps. Helen’s sconces were glazed on the wrong side, which was a blessing in disguise and we brought on local hand painter DJ Schmidt in the final hour (he finished his work at 4am the morning of the photoshoot) to paint LMNOP-designed graphics throughout when the space just didn’t yet feel quite right…

Tonchin New York was a true labor of love (hence, Tokyo meets New York, with love)!

Tonchin Japanese Restaurant NY

Tonchin Japanese Restaurant in NY – Building Information:

Architects: Carpenter & Mason
Project size: 2000 ft2
Completion date: 2017
Building levels: 1

Tonchin Japanese Restaurant NY

Photography: Nicole Franzen

Tonchin Japanese Restaurant, New York images / information received 291221

Location: New York City, USA

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Website: Tonchin New York