We’ve been expanding our BLACKBARN lifestyle brand! Changing the way New Yorkers dine and shop home goods by uniting hospitality and retail, world-renowned interior designer Mark Zeff and acclaimed celebrity Chef John Doherty have combined their expertise to open the flagship BLACKBARN Shop | Café | Bar on the ground floor of New York City’s Chelsea Market.
“I fell in love with the ability to make people happy with something I crafted with my hands. From the beginning, I would feel a connection to the food I prepared. When someone loves what they do, it is always better because love is an energy that transposes to whatever it is you are doing.”
— Chef John Doherty
Together the creative duo, in collaboration with partner Kristen Zeff, envisioned a distinctive environment where food and design meld together, as a shop of homewares and accessories where a café & bar come to life in the total brand experience.
The successful multi-faceted lifestyle brand, BLACKBARN, was born from the homes Zeff created in East Hampton, near the bay. Inspired by the decor and attention to detail, Chef Doherty brought to life Zeff’s decor concept at their restaurant in NoMad, Black Barn Restaurant. The Zeff’s further extended the lifestyle brand by opening BLACKBARN Shop in Dumbo, Brooklyn.
Now, together with Chef Doherty, they’re creating their Flagship shop and cafe in Manhattan Chelsea Market, after being approached by their team.
“BLACKBARN has the facility to integrate all elements of your lifestyle, capturing the exotic and worldly inspirations that define your vision. The flagship will blur the lines, enabling a complete experience from entrance to exit: you can dine and furnishyour entire home at BLACKBARN, from furniture to linens to kitchenware, with reasonably priced, hand-selected pieces.”
— Mark Zeff
All of the tableware, flatware, glasses, and linens used are available for purchase in a vignetted version of the shop during the full-service dining hours. The café’s branded specialty food items such as jams, jellies, spices, sauces, chocolates, coffee and nuts will be sold, with a portion of proceeds going to Heavenly Harvest Foundation to create meals for those in need including families that have been impacted by the recent hurricanes.
Chef John Doherty, who helmed the kitchen at the Waldorf-Astoria in its glory years for more than two decades, has created a warm and inviting menu which includes dishes like Grilled Tuna Nicoise, Wild Mushroom Toast, and BBQ Beef Short Rib with cheddar mash and hericot vert.
Mr. Zeff, owner and principal of his awarded design firm MARKZEFF, with Mrs. Zeff, travels the world to purchase and import unique pieces, and also to pair with companies on product development for the U.S. market, such as with the venerated Dutch crockery brand, Serax, and the elegant Barcelona furniture line, Arxe, that will be making an American debut at the flagship’s opening.
The BLACKBARN Shop in Chelsea Market is a fully integrated experience. Bringing an outdoor-inspired element into the mix, BLACKBARN has asked Lexington Gardens of New York City’s Upper East Side, to develop an enchanted garden store as a way of completing the BLACKBARN lifestyle. The arrangements, though made to resemble living displays, are constructed of authentic yet non-living materials such as dried poppy pods, boxwood, moss, and ferns, adding a touch of whimsy to BLACKBARN’s sophisticated interiors.
The store also includes a dedicated library curated by Aaron Hicklin of One Grand Books, a project that has risen to fame for its celebrity-selected book lists. Aaron Hicklin is the editor-in-chief of Out and founder of the editorial agency, Grand Editorial, that reaches out to interesting figures to invite them to create these “desert island” inspired lists.
“Since its inception, the market has been an anchor to the West Chelsea neighborhood, and we’ve worked hard to make sure the right mix of food purveyors and grocers are available to area residents and visitors. The addition of BLACKBARN will further strengthen the retail offerings of Chelsea Market and will continue to elevate the shopping experience offered to locals.”
— Michael Phillips, President of Jamestown, owner of Chelsea Market.
About Chelsea Market
Since it opened its doors to the public in 1996, Chelsea Market has been the insider’s resource for artisanal goods in Manhattan. Chelsea Market is an authentic destination for culinary connoisseurs, chefs and local residents. Serving as the bridge between two iconic Manhattan neighborhoods, Chelsea and the Meatpacking District, Chelsea Market continues its commitment to the artisanal marketplace and craft manufacturing, and to the community that surrounds it. For more information, visit www.chelseamarket.com.