In its second year in business, the 10 Corso Como store in New York has taken its culinary operation in a new direction.
The Seaport café/restaurant has closed to the public to focus on customized catered events. The store’s founder Carla Sozzani explained that the change in plans was made after considerable analysis. “A year and a half of the 10 Corso Como experience at the Seaport has given us more information about the annual flow the location generates. We can now project the visitors and customers we will expect to grow from this base going forward. In these [past] few months, we have realized that to create a more inclusive experience, the café/restaurant needs to be incorporated into the art, fashion and design spaces, as it is in Milano and Seoul.”
The first café and bookshop outpost for 10 Corso Como opened in Milan’s Porta Nuova neighborhood in 1991 — one year after Sozzani first unveiled a gallery. A culinary aspect is integral to its art-design-fashion model — and on that other retailers have tried to emulate with varying degrees of success.
Regarding the New York store, Sozzani said, “While we make some adjustments to the floor plans, the restaurant and bar are now open for curated one-off events that allow guests to create a customized 10 Corso Como experience with us,” noting that “several interesting events” have already been held there. In addition, at the start of New York Fashion Week, Sozzani will be in town for the opening of a Bruce Gilden photography exhibition “Lost and Found” at the store, and a dinner in his honor there as well. Organized in collaboration with Magnum Photos, the show will spotlight street photos from the mid-Seventies through the Eighties, and more recent fashion images. The exhibition will be on view through April 5.
But 10 Corso Como shoppers and passersby will have another on-site dining option, when the weather warms up. “We will open the café restaurant as a growing part of the 10 Corso Como experience for spring, when the season allows for the spaces to move from the inside to the outdoors to enjoy the gardens that surround 10 Corso Como at the Seaport. Nature has always been an important component of the 10 Corso Como engagement, since its inception, and one of the main reasons to locate here by the water and promenades,” Sozzani said.
Addressing the overall business at the New York store, Sozzani said, “We are also happy to share with you that the holiday selling season at 10 Corso Como exceeded our expectations for the first year. Our sales have more than doubled,” without specifying why sales were so strong in New York. “And, so far, we have continued to experience strong sales growth throughout January. We are looking forward to see our second full year of operation as 10 Corso Como becomes a destination for consumers seeking our uniquely curated assortment of fashion, culture and art, and cuisine.”
Meanwhile, former 10 Corso Como chef Jordan Frosolone has teamed with Gruppo Italiano’s Gianfranco and Paula Sorrentino. Frosolone is now the executive chef/partner of the Leopard at Des Artistes, which many New Yorkers still think of as the former site of Café Des Artistes. Frosolone, who earned high marks at 10 Corso Como is working on a book proposal that he hopes to start shopping around later this spring or in the early summer. “We are exploring two possible ideas for the book, which will have — to some extent — an Italian cooking, history, cultural and Italiana and Italian/American backdrop,” Frosolone said.