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Nick Poe Is Selling Lamps Out of His New Sushi Spot

Photo: Nick Poe

In early June, Nick Poe, the downtown designer behind Benny Safdie’s latest kitchen renovation, Sky Ting’s build-out, and the private dining room Lee’s, opened an omakase restaurant called Time. (He partnered with two other equally downtown characters: Alec Reinstein, a.k.a. the rapper Despot and the restaurateur behind Frankel’s, Bernies and Gigi’s in L.A., and Yasmin Kaytmaz, the restaurant operator behind Dr Clark’s and the River. Josh Safdie, Sebo Bear, and Nick Braun all showed up on opening night.)

Poe’s usual aesthetic relies on a lot of stripped blond wood, tiled backsplashes, white brick walls, and monsteras (he helped popularize that particular combination in the first place). But for Time, he did something a bit different. “We wanted to create a Japanese restaurant that didn’t feel like we chose it from a sushi-restaurant catalog,” Poe says. He gave the space more of a bistro feel, using florentine-beige plaster walls, recovered tin ceilings, lots of mirrors, and custom-made paper light fixtures and bistro chairs. The latter of which are secretly for sale.

The fixtures, which Poe says are inspired by the ones at Minetta Tavern, are available for $2,500 each (they’re made-to-order, email The chairs (also made-to-order) come in three different heights (table, bar, and counter) and are upholstered with Turkish rugs (instead of latticed caning that tends to break) that Poe ordered on eBay from a shop called Optimum Rugs. The style is, per Poe, “Franz West meets McNally,” and they’re $7,500 for a set of six. But they’re genuine Thonet bentwood!

The fixtures. Photo: Nick Poe
And the chair. Photo: Nick Poe

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Nick Poe Is Selling Light Fixtures Out of His New Sushi Spot