"Cardin designs Maxim's cafes; European-styled L'Omnibus a key expansion vehicle"


By Paul Frumkin

Published in Nation's Restaurant News, March 18, 1985


"NEW YORK -- French fashion designer Pierre Cardin may develop a chain of moderately priced cafes in major cities across the country to augment his fledgling Maxim's de Paris restaurant empire and hotel interests.With construction well under way on a fashionable midtown restaurant and an allsuites luxury hotel in Palm Springs, Calif., the European-type cafe concept, called L'Omnibus de Maxim's, would give Cardin a less costly--and stylish--expansion vehicle in the U.S.Cardin purchased the Paris landmark, Maxim's de Paris, in 1981, planning re-create the restaurant around the world. Today, he has built Maxim's in Rio de Janeiro, Peking, Brussels, Singapore, London, Tokyo and Mexico City.

The Maxim's de Paris now under construction in the Carlton House, a 200-suite residential hotel, will be the first restaurant Cardin has opened in this country. Meanwhile, he is suing the owners of a Chicago restaurant called Maxim's, claiming an agreement they had made with Maxim de Paris' previous owner to use the name is no longer valid.Scheduled to open in late summer, the New York Maxim's de Paris will be among the city's larger operations--with seating for approximately 575 diners in two separate restaurants--the prototype L'Omnibus de Maxim's cafe and the Grand Salon--and extensive banquet facilities.L'Omnibus cafe will occupy the ground floor, seat 125 and have its own entrance. The cafe will feature rotisseriegrilled fish and poultry, fresh oysters and clams served from a raw bar--a coquillage in French--quiches, salads and California-type pizzas.

The cafe's menu will change every two months and reflect the cooking of the various provinces of France, such as Burgundy, Provence and Bordeaux.Atmosphere and dress will be casual, service will be fast and check averages should fall between $15 and $20 per person. Once the restaurant has been operating long enough to iron out the wrinkles, Cardin and company will begin to seriously examine expansion plans."We're currently thinking about building more cafes in other cities," explained Maxim's general manager Monty Zullo. "But we probably won't start working on that project for a while.THE 225-SEAT Grand Salon occupies the second floor of the restaurant along with banquet facilities for up to 250 guests. Zullo characterizes the menu for the Salon as being "essentially classical French with nouvelle overtones." The check average will run between $75 and $100 per person, including wine.The interiors for Maxim's, which have been designed by Pierre Porthier of Paris and Janko Rasic of New York, will re-create the turn-of-the-century decor of the original Maxim's in Paris. A stage is also being constructed for live entertainment.Construction is also moving ahead on the $38 million Maxim's Suite Hotel in Palm Springs, Calif.--the first in a proposed chain. Although the Maxim's hotel chain will be developed and operated by Dallas-based Pratt Hotels under a licensing agreement with Pierre Cardin, Cardin is overseeing the design and decor of the properties. Pratt and Cardin are also planning to launch a joint marketing and advertising effort to establish the Maxim's name as a symbol of luxury.Together, Cardin and Pratt Hotels plan to construct five more Maxim's in the next four or five years."

"Classical reparation. (restoring the classical look to a lobby)"

"Classical reparation. (restoring the classical look to a lobby)"
By John G. Tucker

Published in INTERIOR DESIGN March 1, 1985


Excerpt:

"This is the 1,170 sq. ft. lobby of the Coca-Cola Building on Fifth Avenue and 55th Street in New York. Until 1983, the building was called the Columbia Pictures Building, after its principal tenant. Shortly before then, however, Columbia was taken over by Coca-Cola, and the building was renamed, though Columbia and its several divisions continue to operate from the offices on floors above. The building itself is an early 1920s, 18-story skyscraper with a Corinthian order wrapped around its first four stories.This lobby renovation is by New York-based architect Janko …"

"POSTINGS; VOILA MAXIM'S"


The New York Times
Published: February 10, 1985

"When the restaurant now being created in Manhattan's Carlton House opens its doors later this year, some patrons, no doubt, will recognize its stained-glass ceilings, deep-red upholstery, fleur-de-lis sconces and framed Sem cartoons as signatures of Maxim's de Paris, one of France's best-known restaurants.

Work is now in progress to recreate the turn-of-the-century Parisian eating establishment in a 2,100-square-foot space on the first and second levels of the Carlton House, a residential hotel on Madison Avenue at 61st Street.

The new restaurant, which is taking over space once occupied by the Cavendish Club, will be among Manhattan's largest, with seating for 575 diners. On the ground floor, with an entrance on East 61st Street, will be L'Omnibus, a 150-seat bistro-style restaurant and bar. The Grand Salon, a room that will seat 225 guests which has been designed to look as much as possible like the main dining room in the Paris establishment, will be on the second floor. Also on that level will be a banquet room for about 200 guests as well as the restaurant's main kitchen.

Maxim's, which since 1981 has been owned by Pierre Cardin, the clothing designer, is now a chain of eight establishments including the ones in Singapore, Brussels, London and Peking.

The interiors for Maxim's have been designed by Pierre Porthier of Paris and Janko Rasic of New York."


nytimes.com