COQODAQ
Jason Varney for Rockwell Group

COQODAQ

Rockwell Group as Architects

Background:
Four years in the making, COQODAQ is a new fried chicken concept from Korean-American restaurateur Simon Kim, owner of the Michelin-starred COTE Korean Steakhouse in New York and Miami. Located in the Flatiron district, as is COTE, COQODAQ is helmed by executive chef Seung Kyu Kim.

photo_credit Jason Varney for Rockwell Group
Jason Varney for Rockwell Group
photo_credit Jason Varney for Rockwell Group
Jason Varney for Rockwell Group

Design Concept:
Rockwell Group was inspired by Simon Kim’s desire to create a modern cathedral for all things fried chicken. For COQODAQ (an onomatopoeia for “cock-a-doodle-doo” in Korean), we infused the dark, luxurious dining room with touches of art nouveau, custom furniture and dynamic, highly strategic lighting throughout. The material palette features hunter green leather, dark walnut wood, architectural lighting, champagne glass, soapstone, bronze, and glowing lacquered paneling. Light is a material here, layered and choreographed to emphasize the textures and color of the food and the unified organism that is the audience. The palette was driven by a desire to surround guests in an envelope of warmth, creating an inviting environment that changes in tonality and mood from day to night and is a joyful place to be at any time.

photo_credit Jason Varney for Rockwell Group
Jason Varney for Rockwell Group
photo_credit Jason Varney for Rockwell Group
Jason Varney for Rockwell Group

Design Details:
Guests are greeted in the restaurant by a handwashing station in green soapstone with a leathered finish and bronze Italian fixtures. An inset concrete “carpet” below further delineates the space. This completely new hospitality element creates a beautiful moment of respite and transition from the busy street; is an offering of convenience for guests who are about to embark on a sensory dining experience; and, simultaneously, heightens the sense of ritual and splendor that awaits.

The station is surrounded by 180 degrees of edge-lit, blacktinted mirrors. An inset warm bronze mirror bathes guests in a flattering, luminous glow. Lights inspired by the restaurant’s ovoid logo are mounted to the mirrors for a dramatic infinity effect.

Beyond the handwashing station, an informal and communal dining area features a first-come, first-served custom communal table made of wood and concrete, plus high tops and mutable, moveable furniture pieces for easy transformation. This high-energy space connects to elevated outdoor dining through operable garage-door style windows, and serves as the restaurant’s welcome sign—a vibrant area where guests can pop in for any length of time.

photo_credit Jason Varney for Rockwell Group
Jason Varney for Rockwell Group
photo_credit Jason Varney for Rockwell Group
Jason Varney for Rockwell Group

The intimate dining room has an added layer of luxury and liveliness and is dominated by a bar and custom Hollywood banquettes. The dining room’s runway-like circulation is rhythmically marked by a series of “ghost” arches made of lit cast glass and bronze metal connections—a typicallyarchitectural intervention rendered here in light, instead, and casting a sparkling glow on diners and food. Theater lights on the sides of the banquettes that face the walkway create additional drama. A mirrored wall at the end of the room creates an infinity effect. And a horizontal band of black-tinted mirrors and integrated lighting frame the back of both rows of banquettes, creating a datum line and further reflecting the activity of the restaurant.

photo_credit Jason Varney for Rockwell Group
Jason Varney for Rockwell Group
photo_credit Jason Varney for Rockwell Group
Jason Varney for Rockwell Group

Plaster walls panels behind the banquettes have a traditional trim, but were treated with a surprising and contemporary crackled effect, a subtle reference to the exquisitely crisp skin of the fried chicken. Muted forest green banquettes are framed by tambour wood. The banquettes are purposefully low enough for guests to rest their arms across, for casual comfort. Custom wood tables feature inset Lazy Susans engraved with the restaurant’s logo, perfect for sharing dishes with a group.

The black soapstone bar has a leathered finish and a slight green tint that relates to the handwashing station. The bar is completed by a tambour wood die and simple up-lit black liquor shelf.

photo_credit Jason Varney for Rockwell Group
Jason Varney for Rockwell Group
photo_credit Jason Varney for Rockwell Group
Jason Varney for Rockwell Group

Team:
Architect: Rockwell Group
Client: Gracious Hospitality
Photo Credit: Jason Varney for Rockwell Group

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