Located at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Fifty-Ninth Street, within Midtown Manhattan's renowned shopping district, Apple's New York City flagship store may be the company's single biggest retail earner.
Cars+Toys - Exec Toys
It would be fitting that the first thing you see in Michael Mack’s home, CEO of San Diego based restaurant chain Garden Fresh, is the kitchen. But the active skier, runner and all-around athlete rarely uses this over-emphasized space much; instead, he’d rather have a salad at one of his Souplantation/ Sweet Tomatoes restaurants scattered around the United States. The food was, after all, the reason why he left his job at Bain & Company and moved to San Diego. Mack wasn’t born a San Diegan, but it’s hard to believe that when touring his two bedroom apartment based in downtown’s old soap factory, Cityfront Terrace. The brick building exemplifies the relaxed, beach lifestyle of a Southern Californian with a modern twist. Mack sits comfortably in the classic tuxedo style Interior Crafts sofa that faces the centerpiece of his living room, a mammoth fireplace. “It’s a bold, strong, anchoring piece” now, he says, in comparison to the luminous white it was originally painted. The fireplace wasn’t the only gleaming addition eventually subdued by FASID designer Robert Wright; nearly everything but the guest bathroom and zebra print staircase was transformed to reflex Mack’s tranquil aesthetic. With the help of Mack’s longtime decorator, the space turned from a “thoughtfully designed, highly detailed, impeccable space” to something a bit more “simplistic,” says Wright. “I’ve always been attracted to loft-like spaces,” he said. “It was the space that I really liked – the high ceilings, and windows – while I would have liked to be up high, the fact they created this urban courtyard was fabulous – I feel like I have a lot of privacy and openness.” The place started as a blank canvas; after moving on from a divorce, Mack “brought in literally nothing” to his new home. Just like his move from London to San Diego, it was a chase to start fresh – something he and his business partner kept in mind when creating the Garden Fresh Corp. “My partner and I were very frustrated with being consultants, as opposed to running something, and we heard about a couple of restaurants called Souplantation here in San Diego,” Mack said. After sharing a few bottles of champagne, a flight was booked to the west coast. Two decades later and Garden Fresh Corp. is a national brand with 115 restaurants and 6000 employees. Though Mack admits he’s not the best chef in the world, he can “get around in the kitchen,” which is easier said than done in a space featuring floor to ceiling cabinets. The challenge for Wright was finding a balance between the show space of kitchen utensils and knickknacks to something more realistic. “We tried to deemphasize the kitchen,” Wright said. “The kitchen was overwhelming. It was a real showoff space because of all the light and white from the living space.” With just 1835 square feet, the challenges didn’t end there. As a sporadic Emeril Lagasse, Mack isn’t prone to hosting large dinner parties, so the dining space turned into a second seating area. Aesthetics and functionality were the only requirements, says Wright, who searched through national showrooms for practical pieces. Today that space featuring Mack’s favorite chair, which “feels like a teddy bear,” works for both football afternoons and cocktail hour. “I was worried about comfort and ergonomics, and wanted to make sure it was a good fit for Michael to hang out for 11 hours. Every piece went through a filter from past experience, or going to a showroom: with only three and a half places to sit in the living room, I was hoping it’d be a good scale and fit for Michael ergonomically,” Wright said. “Robert has the capacity to understand [lots of design extremes], and thoughtfully and purposely pick where on the spectrum do I want to land,” said Mack. “That’s very attractive to me. He also understands more about what I like than I do.” The loft puts a spin on the traditional bachelor pad, as Mack’s college-age daughter aided in putting her room together – which today features bright pink walls, a small vanity and lavish headboard. Also upstairs is Mack’s bedroom, a contained sanctuary with a small “Chinese warrior” in the corner, fabric headboard and simple sconces accenting each bedside table. Though the loft might not exemplify most executive pads in downtown’s newly redesigned district, the no-nonsense effortless is perfect for a man always on the go. “I like things that are simple, relatively uncluttered and yet very pleasing aesthetically. This place when I first saw it was very white and bright. It was done all in the same style, and with Robert’s help we really created something where there is different textures and different styles. I think that diversity is very appealing to me. I couldn’t do it myself and yet I know it when I see it.” “This is just a complete sanctuary,” Mack said. “I love being here; there’s not a spot in this place that I don’t like.”
Do you want a gift that’s really going to blow the Mrs. away this Christmas? Of course you do.
Mission Motors has teased us with an electric motorcycle.
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