The fast-casual boom is heading to Hyde Park in two days, when chef Mike Sheerin and partner Aaron DiMaria unveil their highly-anticipated creative dumpling restaurant Packed. While the narrow 50-seat space is laid out similarly to other fast-casual spots—counter service, banquettes, counter seats under the front window—the inside brings some different twists to the trend.
The outside is made of brown brick and wood, and the motif inside the restaurant, in a former Edwardo's Natural Pizza on 57th Street, is that of brightness and nature, which goes along with the environmentally-conscious mission that's part of the theme. Walls, exposed brick on one side, are painted multiple shades of green, while still-life paintings of flowers and cows in serene fields, meant to depict the restaurant's sustainable sourcing, hang from the ceiling above brown banquettes. The ordering counter, which sits on barn side-inspired blocks below the menu board, is on the far end of the space beside stations with compostable utensils.
Packed finally opens on Friday; take a photo tour in the gallery above.