Indoor dining in New York City is delayed indefinitely, but when Ampia Restaurant & Rooftop in the Financial District opens next week, guests can still dine privately—in a greenhouse.
Michele and Anisa Iuliano, the husband-and-wife team behind the rooftop restaurant, have installed five greenhouses atop a 4,500-square-foot outdoor space filled with tropical greenery, Japanese maples and seasonal flowers. Like the couple’s other seven restaurants, the theme here is focused on Italy with a seafood-leaning menu.
“We’ve lived in prison for four months,” says Anisa Iuliano. “I want people to come on this beautiful roof and feel safe and like they’re in their own little world so they can enjoy themselves.”
Each intimate greenhouse features a wood table for two guests. It’s made of a polycarbonate plastic-like material that supposedly blocks most UV rays and is 7-feet high. The duo planned to open Ampia—which means “space” in Italian and sits on the third floor above their restaurant Gnoccheria Wall Street—back in April but the current crisis put everything on pause. With Phase 3 of reopening slated for Monday, they now plan to officially open on July 8th.
“We didn't know which day this would come, if it could come,” says Anisa Iuliano.
As a record number of New York restaurants offer outdoor dining, many are looking for creative ways to convince guests that their safety is a priority. A few months ago, a restaurant in Amsterdam installed greenhouses with much fanfare, and some New Yorkers may recall that the Arlo SoHo also had a temporary greenhouse.
But many diners are still on the fence about whether they should dine out at all—not only for their own health but that of restaurant workers. At Ampia, they hired a company called Purity Solutions to apply “an electrostatic sanitizing spray with an EPA approved formula...across the entire restaurant and rooftop. This provides a sanitized base coat that continually disinfects and destroys viruses and bacteria on all surfaces, tables, and seating.” Tables are spaced six-feet apart (and wiped down after each use), QR codes are needed for menus and only groups that are sitting together are allowed to take an elevator at the same time.
The Iulianos say they’ve taken numerous precautions to ensure the safety of guests and their employees. In the months leading up to Ampia’s opening, they hired Purity Solutions to spray their home in order to test out the product and Anisa, who says her 74-year-old father battled the illness, even had her husband and daughter wash their clothes each time they entered their home from outside.
“I’m adjusting to all the changes all the time,” says Anisa. “We adapt, make changes and execute. It’s as simple as that.”
Ampia Restaurant & Rooftop is located 100 Broad Street (entrance on Bridge Street), third floor, New York, NY 10004
Most popular on Time Out
- Everything you need to know about Phase 3 reopening plans in NYC
- This Queens venue will test you for Covid-19 before letting you in
- How to watch the 4th of July fireworks in NYC
- There could be a bike and pedestrian only bridge coming to NYC
- Indoor dining in NYC is officially delayed for Phase 3