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The scaffolding that's been up inside a portion of the main floor at Barneys on Madison Avenue will be removed this weekend, to reveal brand new shiny marble floors and new lighting and ceiling details. WWD reports that that's just the tip of the iceberg, and there's more changes in the works. More construction for the main floor will be put off until Christmas, but the Co-Op floors will be remodeled in the meantime.
By mid-October, the men's and women's Co-Ops will become one, a merge that will finally eliminate the difficulty of shopping with someone of the opposite sex. Perhaps more exciting is that there will also be a cafe added to the mix—called Gene's—named after former Barneys CEO Gene Pressman. As expected, some of the food will be supplied by Mark Straussman, the chef from Fred's downstairs.
So is Gene touched that they're naming the cafe after him, or is he kind of just whatever about it? He tells WWD: "It's nice. They asked me if I minded if they name the restaurant after me. I said, 'knock yourself out.' I don't have any creative input in the store and I have no interest in having creative input." Will he eat there? "Yeah, why not. I'm sure I will."
Update: Turns out that the cafe won't exactly be called Gene's, although it will still be named after Pressman. Our Barneys contact says the actual title is genes@coop.
· Barneys New York Flagship Getting a Facelift [WWD, subscription req'd]