Tropical Hardwood interiors are popular for restaurants. Most architects and designers haven’t yet accepted their greater responsibility to the rest of the world, as well as their clients. Many restaurant owners design their own interiors and it seems all that all many of them know is “gotta have mahogany”.

A search around your town or city will undoubtedly reveal a number of bars and restaurants laced with rainforest woods inside — and perhaps outside, too, as doors and foyers are a prime use of mahogany.

A walk along the retail streets of New York City reveals dozens of restaurants that have used mahogany or other tropical wood doors, foyers and/or interiors or which have used teak or ipê benches, including The Cottage restaurants, (full mahogany doors, foyers and interiors) Zen Palett (doors and interiors), Mr. Wonton (full mahogany), Redwoods (full mahogany) and even the progressive Josie’s (with a teak bench and some zebrawood inside).

While it may seem worthless to target individual restaurants, many of these are growing chains. The Cottage restaurants now have five restaurants around the city and are growing. Zen Pallet has two locations and may expand to more. Redwoods is seeking to expand. Other restaurants using mahogany.

Bel Villagio, 228 Bleecker Street

American Burger & Co., 212/695-6933, 100 West 32nd street @ 6th Avenue, New York, NY 10001

Better yet is to pressure the National Restaurant Association, asking them to make a point to educate restaurateurs about the problems with the use of woods from endangered tropical forests.

Also, the following restaurant chains use tropical hardwoods for doors, foyers and/or interiors. Raising a fuss with these large national chains may help educate smaller restaurant owners through newsletters and other restaurant-oriented media.

Reise Restaurants


TGI Friday’s

Hard Rock Café

Harley Davidson