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Menswear shop Jay Kos feels a little like Alice's Wonderland, and not just because live action Mad Hatter Johnny Depp is a client. Decorated in psychedelic colors and studded with the occasional glass mushroom, the buzzer-only shop features a hidden passageway accessible by a concealed doorway. Down the twisting stairway is a clubby space where clients can get measured for bespoke suits, smoke a cigar or two, and, if they happen to be famous, sneak out a secret back doorway. (Along with Depp, Kos has dressed a range of well-known men that includes Al Gore, Andre 3000, and multiple members of Phish.)
Kos has famously promised to cook for clients, and there is indeed a state-of-the-art kitchen in the store, complete with sleek glass countertops and an induction stove by G.D. Cucine and appliances by Electrolux. Racks of spices line the mirror above the stove, but the equipment isn't fully operational yet, so Kos hadn't picked up any ingredients when we stopped by. He plans to hit up the Greenmarket occasionally—not every day, just when the mood strikes—so that he can make seasonal meals for his clients. (An omelet with artichoke hearts is his specialty.) And he's even launched a magazine about cooking, F[ood]ashion, which you can see here.
Kos's goal is to make the store feel like an extension of his home, which is also why customers are invited to poke around the armoires in the upstairs space. "This is not a gimmick," he says of the cooking. "I don't cook to make money from it. The customers are like my friends."
That doesn't mean you can just drop in for a free meal: Starting next week, store access will switch to an appointment-only basis, and Kos's pricing might rule out the average rubbernecker. Shirting goes from $375 to $450, those colorful bucks in the gallery above run $700, and custom suits are...well, nobody orders a custom suit hoping for a bargain. Despite the air of exclusivity, though, Kos is nothing if not a gracious host. He's 90% vegan, he says, but if you asked for a steak, he'd happily fry one up.
· Jay Kos Nolita Will Begin Serving Up Meals and Menswear This Friday [Racked NY]
· Jay Kos Will Cook for Customers Inside His New Nolita Store [Racked NY]
· Jay Kos [Official Site]