Restaurant

TAO Downtown

New York, NY

Dragon scales and calligraphy begin an exotic journey just a few steps below Manhattan’s busy streets. TAO Downtown is a two-story, 22,000-square-foot restaurant, bar and lounge in the former ballroom spaces of New York’s Maritime Hotel.

Expanding from an intimate corridor into a grand subterranean room, the restaurant’s focal point is a striking grand staircase that creates a see-and-be-seen atmosphere.

The entrance corridor creates the feeling of walking into a grotto.
A visitor’s first glimpse of the 500-seat dining room.

Scale becomes part of the spectacle.


Oversized lanterns and statues echo the impressive size of the Asian-inspired Gotham speakeasy. The arms of a 20-foot-tall statue seem to move hypnotically under a veil of projected animation designed by Rockwell Group’s LAB.

Waterfalls, birds and tattoos subtly animate the Quanyin.
TAO’s tiered arrangement encourages social interaction.

Guests don’t go straight to their tables. They move through a series of levels that invite lingering with daybeds and lounges.

“We've created a restaurant that is less about planting yourself at a table, and more about getting up, moving around.”

Shawn Sullivan, Studio Leader and Partner
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