Parsons Faculty, Wid Chapman’s Dhamaka Restaurant Opens at Essex Market

Wid Chapman’s Dhamaka Restaurant Opens at Essex Market

Dhamaka, a 1,300-square-foot restaurant designed by Wid Chapman Architects, has opened at Essex Market, with indoor seating for 52 patrons plus an additional 30 outdoor seats. In Hindi, dhamaka means “boom” or “explosion,” an idea expressed both in the restaurant’s design and in its cuisine. Many of the restaurant’s design elements, including the wall panels, metal frames, and light fixtures, were conceptually designed by the architect, but were then fine-tuned and realized by artist Christopher Wynter. The wall panels serve as a “shattered” canvas, with shards of objects and backlighting making the forms appear to float from the wall. The handmade screens at the kitchen and bathrooms and the sculptural pendant lights are made of rusted steel, placed in a random triangular geometry. The bar area features a bottle-storing “chandelier,” converted from what looks like an old truck wheel or oil barrel. The bottles and back bar mural are painted with Indian icons, motifs, and Hindi phrases by artist Sean Maze. The bar back, located on top of the painted mural, has a bottle-supporting, linear wood grill structure that also appears to float off the wall with discreet backlighting. Floor-to-ceiling windows allow passersby on Delancey Street to glimpse a slice of India on the Lower East Side.