Home is where people come together to share stories, joy, food and drink. Establishing a sense of home is serendipitous yet intentional – much like Gilded Group’s partnership with Selina Chelsea to launch its newest food and beverage concept: HOWM Cocina & Cocktails. The 120- seat Mesoamerican restaurant will open September 1st at Selina’s flagship hotel with Chef Byron Peñafiel at the helm of culinary and mixologist Daniel Bedoya in charge of drink.

Pronounced home, the name is inspired by the kitchen most often serving as a gathering place in a home– a place to connect with those around you over food and drink.

HOWM Cocina & Cocktails aims to become a magnet for cultured locals and modern travelers, akin to the Selina brand, an established lifestyle hospitality global community that has redefined the way a new  generation travels, works and explores. The Mesoamerican cuisine of HOWM Cocina & Cocktails is a nod to the Selina brand’s large portfolio of hotels throughout Central America and kicks off a partnership with hospitality operators Gilded Group, with a potential pipeline of joint projects in the future.

Chef Byron Peñafiel [Bilboquet, Rotisserie Georgette] is spearheading the menu that celebrates dishes from Mesoamerica, from the Yucatan to El Salvador down to Costa Rica. The menu consists of small plates and large plates intended for sharing, featuring authentic flavors prepared with a modern approach. Rather than bread service, every meal starts with hot, crispy patacones (deep fried plantains), with chili salt and mango chutney. Highlights from the small plates include Pupusas con Curtido, Grilled Broccolino in Mole, Market Ceviche and Charred Octopus with jalapeño hummus. However, the large plates steal the show with Rotisserie Guava Glazed Chicken ala Brasa with Tomato Confit and Moho, Chaulafan Chicharrone (a fried black rice style dish with Chorizo, Squid and Pork Rinds in Salsa Verde) or the Dry Aged Churassco de Chimichurri (ribeye for two).

The mixology program created by Gilded Group’s Beverage Director, Daniel Bedoya, brings his South American roots to HOWM in a mindful and holistic way. The show stopping cocktails feature innovative ingredients such as strawberry vermouth, Guyusa-infused vodka, avocado and pistachio oil and tarragon infused Cachaca, and a Banana Liqueur and Rye Whiskey in The Matina.

Definition Design’s Heather Maloney [Equinox Hotels, Morgan Hotel Group] was tapped to spearhead the design of HOWM, with a mission to turn the hard industrial design elements of the former Hotel Americano into textural soft finishes for a comfortable feel. The modern and lively restaurant and patio space is light and airy, adorned in Central American patterns and designs with natural materials and textiles in muted earth tones and playful colors, bringing a sense of authenticity to the space. Guests will be seated at oak butcher block tables and rattan lounge chairs. Greenery will fill the restaurant, layering both tropical and native flora, with the main dining room flanked in palm trees and tropical plants. There will be seating in an outdoor garden that looks out on the Highline. The dual-level garden terrace is a lush green space with tropical elements featuring bright banquette seating in vibrant hues of pinks, fuchsias and yellows with relaxed hammock chairs.

Ascending to The Rooftop at Selina Chelsea accelerates the restaurant’s lounge vibe with increasing energy. Upon arrival to the roof, the elevator opens directly to a vibrant lounge and bar space with a plunge pool steps away flanked by cabanas, daybeds and palm trees. Guests are welcomed by views of the Hudson River and the Highline with the roof’s east facing VIP terrace offering unobstructed views of the Empire State Building. The upbeat aesthetic is matched by bold cocktails and zero proof cocktails built on the bases of mezcal, tequila, pisco, rum and aguardiente, using in-house ingredients.

“Chelsea is one of New York City’s most diverse neighborhoods and we couldn’t envision a better location for HOWM Cocina & Cocktails than at Selina Chelsea, said Jonathan Knudsen, Principal, Gilded Group. “We chose Mesoamerican cuisine because of its authentic, bold flavors and we hope the restaurant captures the distinct feeling and energy found across all of Latin America.”

The Gilded Group is a newly formed joint venture brought to life by veterans Jonathan Knudsen, Josh Pendley, Danny Bazechouin and Caitlin Francis during the COVID-19 pandemic. An off shoot of New York City-based Concrete Hospitality, the Gilded Group’s inaugural project will be HOWM at the Selina Chelsea, which came to light during the pandemic.

Selina’s VP Brand & Creative, Ariel Levinsohn, added: “We are proud to bring the Latin cultural heritage from all the unique places we operate in Central America (Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panamá) to the NYC scene. The key to our success is finding incredible local partners that understand our global experiential community of locals and travelers to bring relevant food & beverage concepts that will resonate deeply with the values of a new generation thirsty for authentic experiences. The Gilded Group is the perfect partner to launch this new venture that will grow together with our footprint in the US.”

Coming later this year, the Gilded Group will also open The Den at Selina Chelsea. The Den will be a lower-level venue ideal for special programming, social events, unconventional corporate meetings, private dining and gallery displays.

HOWM Cocina & Cocktails will be located at Selina Chelsea at 518 W 27th St in New York City.

For more information on HOWM Cocina & Cocktails, visit or for reservations, visit For more information on the rooftop: