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The local food movement has a new headliner: craft cider. The fermented, alcoholic beverage has become something of an “it” drink in New York City in the past few years. The reason is two-fold: producers are creating more complex ciders for an audience that craves it, and production is way up in New York state. It’s a perfect storm of supply and demand.

New York boasts more cideries than other state in the country. From 2011 – 2015, according to data released by the organizers of Cider Week NYC (the Sixth Annual festival runs October 21-31), the number of producers jumped from five to 65, with production volume up 750%. And so, a beverage once relegated to those seeking sweet and carbonated drinks is now more seriously considered.

“What we’re really seeing is people interested in the fine quality, well-made product,” said Dan Pucci, Cider Director at Wassail on the Lower East Side. “With an interesting style, [there is] a lot of growth happening.”

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Experts weigh in on how operations can stand out from the crowd with their architecture and interior design.


Though he and his business have roots in New York City, Vincent Celano, founder and principal of Celano Design Studio, finds inspiration in the culture and spirit of Miami and incorporates those elements into his restaurant designs.

“Miami and South Florida have become a testing ground for restaurants,” he told MRM magazine. “They can tap into the energy before going national and there’s space, more landscape to discover how a food concept might translate up north.” Vincent Celano
After graduating from Pratt Institute with a degree in architecture, Celano headed design and management of projects for Rockwell Group, Jeffrey Beers International, and ICRAVE, among others before branching out on his own in 2013. The studio advises on a host of services including design, architecture, branding and graphics for a roster of hotel, nightclub, restaurant and bar clients such as W Hotels and Resorts, Rosa Mexicano, Mohegan Sun and Mercadito Hospitality.

The design industry is not just picking colors, but understanding the flow of business and choreographing an experience.

Projects Celano and his team have designed include:

Pisco Y Nazca, Miami
Bulla Gastropubs, Miami
Coconut Grove’s Glass & Vine,
Buddy V’s Ristorante, Las Vegas, and Bethlehem, PA
The Hamilton, Allentown, PA
Cockscomb, San Francisco
Duke University West Campus Union, Durham, NC
Rock & Reilly’s, New York, NY

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When it comes to cutting-edge design and a multi-concept space, university dining halls hardly seem an innovative venue. The new West Campus Union Hall at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, could change that perception.

New York–based designer Vincent Celano created a new dining experience that defies the cafeteria quality and drab interior. He says it all started when Rick Johnson, the head of housing and dining at Duke, decided it was time to take student dining “to the next level.” Johnson reached out to Celano and they formed a team—including renowned kitchen designer Jimi Yui—that would not only work on the design but the menus and branding for the concepts, too.

“It started with putting together the team that could brainstorm and create these concepts because they didn’t have the food; they didn’t have the menus. We were very much a part of creating that,” Celano says. “One of the things we talked about as a group was … how do we bring forward the food experience? How do we bring the food theater forward to the customer and make it part of the experience?”

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Designed by New York-based Celano Design Studio in partnership with New York-based Grimshaw Architects, the Duke University West Campus Union is an on-campus dining facility that housing 11 food venues that will debut this year. Along with completing the interior design, the firms also created the brand identity concepts for each of the dining experiences including the materials palette, menu layout, signage, and uniforms.


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A master of high-impact brand experiences, Toronto-born architect and designer Vincent Celano cut his teeth with the Rockwell Group , Jeffrey Beers International , and ICRAVE before launching his eponymous firm in New York in 2013. Celano and his team specialize in design, architecture, branding and graphics for high-profile hospitality projects—including Las Vegas concepts within the Venetian and Red Rock, and projects for brands such as W Hotels , Mercadito Hospitality , and Rosa Mexicana. Here, he shares what’s kept him and his bright team moving ever forward, and why his anthropology course has come in handy.

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With an impressive career trajectory that includes tenures with renowned firms such as Rockwell Group, Jeffrey Beers International, and ICRAVE, and projects for brands including W Hotels and Resorts, Rosa Mexicano, and Mercadito Hospitality, Vincent Celano recently started his own New York-based design, architecture, and branding firm—Celano Design Studio. Here, the designer talks early inspirations, current projects, and the importance of knowing your guest.

cytotec in usa Did you always know you wanted to be a designer?
I probably never knew it was called that at 8 years old, but at that early age I would always sketch and paint and then as I got older, around age 10 or 12, I really wanted to understand how things came together. For me it was mostly through buildings/architecture because of how impactful they were to my surroundings and the interesting materials used. Also, I always loved color and texture and their influences and relevancy to people and culture.

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It’s clear that Millennials are eating and drinking differently than their parents. They want more authentic experiences and are open to sharing those experiences with other diners. They want a restaurant’s design to reflect its cuisine, and ultimately they want the restaurant to be true to what it’s offering. So restaurant designers and architects, armed with that information, are challenged to meet diner expectations while also satisfying the vision of the restaurant …

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New York-based Celano Design Studio brings Chicago’s industrial past to River North with Tippling Hall, its stunningly designed beer hall, cocktail lounge, and wine bar all-in-one concept.

Celano Design Studio worked with architect of record, IPSA Corp in collaboration with Mercadito Hospitality and Tippling Bros.

Opened Monday, Oct. 13, Tippling Hall is reminiscent of a classic beer hall with weathered yet warming design elements. The newly opened space designed by Celano Design Studio and conceptualized with Mercadito Hospitality and beverage-consulting firm Tippling Bros. offers River North global comfort food and late-night dining.

The 5,000-square foot space boasts communal tables, thick overhead beams, and plaster artwork.

The Design Celano Design Studio created a comfortable and intimate environment inspired by Chicago’s industrial past. Celano’s design team stripped the interior down to its bones to expose the structure’s beautiful brick walls and wood ceilings, keeping the building’s integrity alive while blending modern, edgy elements into the design. Above the entrance at the staircase floats a cage-like light fixture made of vintage flasks, each engraved with the names of Mercadito team members.

Between the bar and dining areas, the design team installed panels that pivot open to let the energy flow freely between the spaces. In the dining area, bench seating and communal tables create a beer hall vibe that can accommodate every experience from happy hour to dinner to late-night drinks. The leather- wrapped light fixtures and fritted glass in the pivoting panels follow an industrial theme, adding a touch of sparkle and creates an amber glow throughout the space. Artwork by artist Ernie Valdez appears throughout the space, from graffiti patterns on the walls leading to the restrooms to the dining room’s plaster wall depicting the Chicago skyline.


Chicago Welcomes Mercadito Hospitality’s Tippling Hall

Robin Leach has finished his annual summer vacation under the Tuscan sun in Italy, and many of our Strip personalities again stepped forward in his absence to pen their own words of wisdom. As Robin enjoys the final birthday week of his working vacation with his family, we continue today with our popular guest columns. Here is Vincent Celano, designer of several Las Vegas restaurants including Buddy V’s Ristorante, Carlo’s Bakery and Mercadito at Red Rock Resort.

When I was young, I was always enthralled by the architecture around me — the neighborhoods, the culture and the people. I decided to pursue my passion for design at New York’s Pratt Institute and then gained experience at firms at which I was impressed with their work. After learning from the best, it just seemed like the natural next step to launch my own design studio and have a solid team working with me to work with all of the clients.

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