Where Creativity Lives. So says the homepage of ABC Carpet & Home and I can’t disagree. If I have one favourite store in the world, this might be it.
ABC sits at lucky 888 Broadway, just off East 19th Avenue in Manhattan. It is a six floor collection of home design goods, furniture, rugs, textiles, antiques, textiles and clothes. But, beyond that, ABC is a six floor lesson in retail and home design. Every corner feels beautifully and personally curated. Many goods come from local and international artisans. These eclectic pieces are brought together in magical displays.
Reinforcing the perceptions of ABC elven magic are the ways in which certain spaces are completely re-designed from one day to the next. Somebody somewhere in the organization is working quickly to create expert vignettes remarkably quickly. If one sizeable product is sold, its neighbours get new friends and a new design story.
ABC Carpet & Home is a family-rooted business that started with Austrian-born carpet dealer, Sam Weinrib, and his traveling cart. His son Max opened a stationary rug store on East 29th. Max’s son Jerry moved the business to East 19th – ‘The Ladies’ Mile’ – where it sits today.
Jerry’s daughter, Paulette, is now CEO and Creative Director of the company. It has been a long road: she ran it for awhile with her then husband Evan, left after they separated, then happily returned in 2004 as Evan moved on to found H.D. Buttercup.
It is important, Paulette emphasizes, that ABC have a strong focus on social responsibility. Their Mission Statement talks about creating ‘a revolutionary platform of cause-related products.’
Attached to the store are two particularly delicious restaurants: ABC Kitchen and ABC Cocina. Both are exquisitely designed and centred on the cookery of renowned Michelin star Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
ABC Kitchen was early in the farm-to-table movement. Vongerichten builds his menu around fresh, local ingredients. Their own rooftop garden supplies the herbs and microgreens. Particularly delicious things we have tried are the: ramp and goat cheese toast, mashed potatoes with sea salt, simply grilled broccoli rabe, chili flakes and lemon and pan-seared organic chicken with lemon potatoes and crispy onions.
This visit we went to ABC Cocina, which is built around a Latin American Fusion menu. Our savvy friends recommended the guacamole and I can sincerely say that I paused in food-happy shock when I tried it. Topped with spring peas and sunflower seeds and served with warm tortillas – this I could eat every day of the week.
The Cocina menu is meant to be shared, so we all dug into the patatas bravas with spicy-tangy sauce and rosemary aioli, crispy bbq pork tacos, pickled pineapple and fresno chili relish, cheese fondue with soft and crunchy tortillas, maitake mushrooms with goat cheese, fresno pepper vinaigrette and housemade chorizo sausage. Special kudos to the rice dish: arroz con pollo, crackling skin and lemon zest. From this point forward, all rice should be made with crackling.
Happy exploring if you get a chance to visit ABC!
Written by Elizabeth Newton