Jeffrey Beers

Who

One of the city's more prolific restaurant designers, Beers is the man responsible for the look of restaurants like China Grill, Ono, Japonais, and Fiamma.

Backstory

A native New Yorker, Beers headed off to RISD after high school, winning a Fulbright after graduation to study glassblowing with noted glass sculptor Dale Chihuly. He later left the wonderful world of glass to take a job with I.M. Pei's architecture firm and spent eight years there, pitching in on the design of Singapore's Raffles and several other hotels in Southeast Asia. After hanging out his own shingle with Jeffrey Beers International, Beers took on his first major project in 1985 when he crafted a Noho Italian spot called Bar Lui. The Times called the look he came up with an "assemblage of every up-to-the-minute cliché," but Jeffrey Chodorow was suitably impressed and handed Beers a career-making commission to design China Grill, now the centerpiece of Chodorow's restaurant empire, in 1987. Beers has since designed dozens of other restaurants—including many more for Chodorow—virtually all of them high-profile, theatrical affairs.

Of note

Along with Adam Tihany and David Rockwell, Beers is one of the most prominent restaurant designers in the city. Some of the spots he's appointed around town: Daniel Boulud's dB Bistro Moderne, Jeffrey Chodorow's Ono and now-shuttered Wild Salmon, Michael Lomanaco's Porter House, Zoe and Zoe Townhouse, Dennis Riese's Hawaiian Tropic Zone, and Steve Hanson's Fiamma. Beers designed the original Japonais in Chicago, as well as its later incarnations in New York and Las Vegas; he also designed all the branches of Martini Park, the lounge chain founded by nightlife impresario Chris Barish, son of Keith Barish.

In some cases Beers isn't just a hired gun—he owns a piece of the restaurant, too. He's a partner in Zoe and Zoe Townhouse as well as the three Japonaises. And in recent years he's been branching out beyond restaurant design. You can credit him for the look of the Dylan Hotel in Midtown and the Cove Atlantis in the Bahamas.

Personal

Beers lives in a co-op in the East 70s with his wife Connie. They have two sons, Justin and Oliver.