Located at at 76 Varick St. in Soho, GITANO Garden of Love is like a little piece of Tulum, right here in NYC, making it the perfect hangout for hip New Yorkers who prefer to spend their weekends in the City, rather than wading through unending traffic on their way out to the Hamptons or Fire Island. The Daily caught up with owner James Gardner to find out what makes this little slice of paradise so special.
Gitano is blowing up! What’s your secret?
We are grateful that people like our concept in Tulum and now here in NYC: Mezcal cocktails, a modern approach to Mexican cooking on an open fire, that is paired back and elevated, mixed with a tropical, minimal and comfortable design, our gypsy-disco sound and overall a fun and sexy vibe. We have somehow appealed to the fashion and creative community, the Instagram influencers, and the LGBTQ community, then everyone else seems to follow.
In terms of the success specifically in NYC, people like to escape the city, to be transported, without sitting in traffic to JFK and all the hassle of flying. We give a taste of being in the Yucatán jungle, a hidden oasis inside the busiest intersection of Soho, Tribeca, and Hudson Square. Never before and probably never again has a 24,000 square foot empty block been turned into a dramatic 450 seat restaurant.
What can you tell me about your new Garden of Love concept?
Our mission is to share love and happiness through the experiences we present. We feel the world needs more love, especially right now, and have branded the GITANO Garden Of Love with “Love” as a core guiding principle. 2019 is a big year, celebrating 50 years since the Stonewall Riots and 50 years since Woodstock, both had dramatic impact on our culture and society today.
We have designed GITANO T-shirts for our team that carry bold statements like “Love Not Hate,” “Love Wins,” and the peace sign. In the southern part of the garden we have developed an urban farm of 20 raised beds and 50+ crops of herbs, vegetables, fruit, and edible flowers, and we teach local public school students farming and nutrition; this is an intuitive to give back to our community. We also program daily guided meditations for the community and have installed a smart solar flower representing part of our focus on the environment and sustainability.
What’s the dress code at the GITANO Garden of Love?
Fluid, bohemian, casual, elegant — the wardrobe of a world traveler. We encourage an environment that self-curates — people that are conscious and aware. We take time to think about how we are presenting ourselves in this world. We do not care about specific brands and labels, but we love a good look! And, of course, we have our own brand and store, CALÓ, that sells sustainable, gender neutral kaftans, kimonos and jewels designed in Mexico and handmade in Mexico and India — get the Tulum look!
Do you have any special events planned for the summer?
We like to think of everyday as a special event. We are celebrating our 1 year anniversary in NYC next week and we will do something special to celebrate Pride. Expect some fun collaborations during NYFW also.
What do you love about New York in the summer?
The GITANO Garden Of Love!
Click here to reserve your table today!