MADE IN MANHATTAN
Australian-lead Team Open Restaurant-Bar The Flower Shop in NYC’s Lower East Side.
L to R: Ronnie Flynn, Paddy Coughlan, Dylan Hales. Photo: Averie Cole.
After ten years surviving on minimum sleep in the city that never sleeps, two Aussie expats launch The Flower Shop this month, an upscale neighbourhood restaurant and bar in New York’s Lower East Side.
Dylan Hales and Ronnie Flynn have pulled strings behind some of New York City's most influential restaurants, cafes, parties and clubs. Now they open 1000sqm bi-level restaurant The Flower Shop in conjunction with US business partner William Tisch and with investment from Sydney-based hospitality entrepreneur Paddy Coughlan, owner of New York Giants Steve Tisch and pro-Skater Tony Hawk.
On the crest of a new wave of eateries and bars in the Lower East Side-Chinatown border of Manhattan, The Flower Shop brings a distinctively laid-back, unpretentious offering to an area that's home to wild bars by night and Chinese food markets by day. This area is fast becoming a destination for rebellious venues that yawn at Manhattan’s stuffy clubs and the on-going gentrification of Brooklyn.
Refined casual dining is on offer at The Flower Shop where an elevated modern American menu is delivered in a laid-back, saloon style venue - think Boston's Cheers bar, meets Australian pub. The Flower Shop's creative vision came from Hales and Flynn.
Hales and Flynn were born and raised in Sydney, leaving its sunny shores in the early 2000's for the United States. Scratch beneath the surface you'll discover their combined American experiences are a Netflix series waiting to happen. They can regale stories of guests dropping $180,000 USD a night on Champagne, boardroom showdowns with celebrity A-listers and equally enthralling are their early experiences sleeping in skateboard bowls and on couches, to becoming tuxedo-clad guests at Paris Fashion Week Gala Events.
As all good hospitality partnerships should, the story of Coughlan, Hales and Flynn begins over drinks and mutual friends. Coughlan has spent the last 25 years establishing himself as one of Australia's leading self-made hospitality success stories. In addition to his financial investment, Coughlan has shared his considerable expertise with Hales and Flynn on visits to NYC through The Flower Shop’s development since 2014.
With diverse backgrounds and incredible cumulative business muscle, Hales, Flynn and Coughlan share a common passion for creating venues that are authentic, unpretentious and around for the long-haul. The Flower Shop merges these interests, and Executive Chef Michael Hamilton’s menu is fresh and considered (without ostentation) using ethically farmed meats and fish. Hamilton himself has a substantial following and is known for his past work with Rick Stein and a string of acclaimed eateries including The Hamptons Surf Lodge, Black Pig, Daniel Bouloud and Kingswood.
“The Flower Shop is an answer to what we feel like has been missing in New York City,” Flynn said.
“We wanted to create a vibe that felt like you were in your living room, surrounded by friends. We wanted to be unpretentious, all-inclusive, but still have the elements that we all seek when we go out to eat—a cool setting, an incredible menu with really good staple items but some surprises, and consistency,”
On his first venue in the USA Coughlan says:
"New York City is the epicentre of the World's hospitality scene and the place to go to challenge yourself. It felt like the next step.”
The Flower Shop opened for reservations on March 9 and is the first chapter in what could be a behemoth New York story for the Eldrige Hospitality Group.
The Flower Shop
107 Eldridge St. New York, NY 10002
About Eldridge Hospitality Group
Eldridge Hospitality Group is a restaurant, nightlife and hospitality company based in New York and is committed to creating unique and soulful hospitality destinations. The Flower Shop is their first venture and helmed by William Tisch, Dylan Hales, Ronnie Flynn and Dave Turner. Notable investors include owner of The New York Giants, Steve Tisch; pro-skater, Tony Hawk; and Australian Hospitality entrepreneur Paddy Coughlan.
About Ronnie Flynn
Flynn relocated to NYC in 2005 with plans to scale-up his streetwear brand. With a handful of connections and no full-time job, Flynn spent 12 months roughing it while simultaneously partying his way around Downtown with his fashion and streetwear associates. In a time before you could google anything and anyone, Flynn built his network the old school way - face to face.
Fast-forward a few years and his network of influential downtown crew was recognised by notable associates who invited him into the hospitality scene. A natural born networker, Flynn's genuine connections enabled him to build serious party guest lists and soon after he opened his own Manhattan club. NeverNever lounge is widely regarded as an underground and safe party zone for some of the fashion scene's most famous celebrities and models with regulars including Drake, Rihanna, Bella Hadid, Nicole Trunfio, Abbey-Lee Kershaw, Jess Hart and Corbin Harris.
About Dylan Hales
Hales moved to the USA in 2006, after being invited to Washington DC as General Manager of the Ralph Lauren café. He moved to NYC 12 months later as General Manager of famed No-Lita establishments Ruby's Cafe and Kingswood, both famed eateries headed up by Australians. Coinciding with a time when the e3 Visa's saw an influx of Australian creatives relocating to NYC, Hales' venues became a home away from home for people like models Jessica Hart and Abbey Lee-Kershaw, musicians and designers alike.
Hales then partnered with Ksubi co-founders Dan Single and George Gorrow to establish party spot Baddies lounge where he also acted as General Manager. Along with three business partners, Hales founded The Randolph Group which owns and operates two venues in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn (where he remains a partner). Hales was awarded ZAGAT's 30 under 30 award in 2013 (for excellence in hospitality) and has curated and produced events for many fashion clients including W Magazine, Hugo Boss, Nylon, New York Fashion Week, Ksubi, APC, Helmut Lang, Stella McCartney, Versace and Phillip Lim.
About Paddy Coughlan
Coughlan has spent the last 25 years establishing himself as one of Australia's leading self-made hospitality success stories. Passionate about creative culture and its vital contribution to the community, Coughlan's hospitality group Bourke St specialise in creating culturally rich establishments that foster musicians, artists and creatives through commissions, performances and by offering rent-free spaces to exhibit, record and work. Bourke St pubs have become a headquarters of sorts to some of Sydney's most well-known artists and bands like DMA's and Sticky Fingers, infamous hip-hop collective The One Day Crew, and street artists Scott Marsh and Sofles.
Bourke St's flagship venues include Camperdown's Lady Hampshire which houses a state-of-the-art recording studio, and Chippendale's Lord Gladstone, home to renowned art gallery Good-Space.
Coughlan’s hospitality career began as an 18-year old, and has seen him progress from publican to founder and CEO of Riversdale Group (where he departed in 2013 but remains a shareholder) and co-invested with private equity firm Lazard plus several notable Australian investors.
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