Cult Italian Coffee Shop Sant Ambroeus Will Open Inside Sotheby’s Headquarters

The art world's favorite coffee shop gets a new home.

Sant Ambroeus Coffee Bar at Sotheby's.
Photo: Instagram.

The art world’s favorite coffee hangout is getting a new location.

October 24, Sotheby’s will open an outpost of one of Italy’s famous coffee bars on the 10th floor of the auction house’s sprawling headquarters on York Avenue on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.  A Sotheby’s representative told artnet News that Sant Ambroeus will now serve as the exclusive caterer for all of Sotheby’s events.

“Sant Ambroeus has become synonymous with the New York art world. It is the place where colleagues gather for business and pleasure and we are thrilled to create yet another destination in our galleries,” said chairman Lisa Dennison, in a statement.

Gherardo Guarducci, a partner of SA Hospitality Group commented that the new spot at Sotheby’s offers “a cafe experience that in in the highest tradition of Italian excellence.”

Along with coffee and espresso, Sant Ambroeus at Sotheby’s will offer warm paninis, pastries, and baked bread.

The original Sant Ambroeus opened in Milan in 1936 and quickly acquired a devoted following. The current-day café decor was created by New York-based designer Robert McKinley, with walls and columns clad in mahogany paneling. The floors were inspired by the geometric patterns of Gio Ponti, and custom Murano glass pendants are featured in the bar, while Murano sconses shaped like leaves decorate the wood columns. McKinley also participated in the the design for the coffee bar’s Soho branch and the 2010 redesign of Sant Ambroeus locations on Madison Avenue, Southampton, and the West Village.

The opening of the new cafe this weekend overlaps with Sotheby’s unveiling of the $500 million A. Alfred Taubman collection—a four-day exhibition that precedes offerings at major fall sales including works by Mark Rothko, Frank Stella, Pablo Picasso, Egon Schiele, Winslow Homer, Charles Burchfield and Albrecht Dürer.


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