At Hotel Particulier on Grand Street in Soho, the writing on the window states, “Enter the cafe through the art gallery.” When you go inside, it’s unclear where one ends and the other begins. There’s no coffee counter or bar. Other than the tables and chairs, there’s no sign that this might be a cafe.
Hotel Particulier’s proprietor Frederique Thiollet told us that people who come in off the street aren’t sure if the space is public or private. Those who figure it out will quickly realize what a courteous host Thiollet is. She invites people to sit, make themselves at home, gives them the wifi password and takes their order off the menu, which is small but carefully curated. Hotel Particulier serves coffee, tea, juice and buns from a well-known bakery in Chinatown. People come here to relax, to work and even hold meetings.
The space used to be a loading dock and has retained a raw, minimal esthetic. Thiollet is definitely design-conscious, and it shows in the details, right down to the Santa Maria Novella soap (a rare import from Italy) in the bathroom. The carefully chosen selection of products includes sunglasses by John Varvatos, Le Premier Parfum by Coolife Studio artists Pauline Rochas and Carole Beaupré (connected to their photo exhibition), jewelry and design books.
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