Dumbo Lodge Now Open25th May 2017
Fine dining on Dumbo's Cobblestones
There is a doorstep under the Manhattan Bridge overpass, on the northwest corner of Washington & Front Streets, where both wanderers and locals alike, stop to stand on its cobblestones and be awed by the view. A View as iconic as the city it represents - the Empire State Building lit up in the distance and framed by the striking Manhattan Bridge.
The doorstep belongs to Gair Bvilding No.6 - as the plaque above it reads - so named in 1910 when the Brookyln neighborhood became the manufacturing empire of cardboard box creator, Robert Gair. Today, waterfront Dumbo is Brooklyn's wealthiest neighbourhood and Gair Building No.6, the site of Rodd & Gunn's first East Coast store.
MICHELIN STAR DINNER
"We had a wholesale customer there..." says Rodd & Gunn CEO Mike Beagley, "and our product sold really well. It was them who called us and said ‘why don’t you take over the lease?’” And so they did and on Wednesday evening, hosted a three-course Michelin star dinner, in-store for fifty VIP guests. In taking its ‘experiential retail’ ideology one step further, Rodd & Gunn’s invitees sipped NZ inspired cocktails under a canopy of green fauna while feasting on a menu designed by New Zealand’s star chef and the owner of Nolita’s Musket Room, Matt Lambert. His celebrated Ora King Salmon was among the evenings’ culinary offerings. “I’m pretty proud of the fact that we’re able to work with Rodd & Gunn so often, if not daily in NZ but also at cool events like this. I don’t think there’s many people who put something together that looks this cool overnight, in a store, so I’m pretty excited to be here and doing this.”
NEW YORK HUSTLE
Up until now, New Zealand hasn’t been a blip on the fashion world’s radar. When the world thinks of New Zealand, it thinks of its landscapes, its natural, rugged beauty, the freshness of its water, the quality of its air. (Interspersed of course, with images of Middle Earth. Of Gandalf and Golem). Rodd & Gunn has not set out to dispute or even redefine this story but instead is taking the essence of what the world already knows of New Zealand, and pioneering the telling of it through the medium of fashion, through the lifestyle that the brand represents. All the while maintaining the laid-back confidence synonymous with New Zealand that is so attractive to the New York hustle.
The parallels may not be obvious at first but the Brooklyn site is not dissimilar to The Lodge Bar in Queenstown. Both are strategically positioned with awe-inspiring views on their doorstep, where customers experience the brand while looking out over the expanse of their surroundings. Whether it is NZ’s snowed peaked mountains, California’s palm dotted blue sky, or now, the Manhattan skyline from 81 Front Street, the effect is communicative. You feel part of something bigger.
NEW ZEALAND'S SELF APPOINTED
As Mike puts it, “…we’re on this journey, we’re on a mission, this is our second full store in the US and we have three more happening in the next few months. We see our business in America very balanced between e-commerce, our own retail and our wholesale partners. It’s an exciting opportunity for us to grow and we are really committed to making ourselves a success here.”
And it seems, if the final comment of the night is anything to go by, Rodd & Gunn is well on its way. To making its presence known across the world as New Zealand’s self-appointed storyteller. It was eleven pm by the time she, the last remaining guest, stepped onto the store’s prized doorstep and turned to confirm, in her thick New York accent, “What was it called again? The dessert?” “Pavlova”. “Pavlooohva. Pavloohva. My Gawd. Wait till I tell my husband.;