Magical is the word owners Ryan Houghton and Michael Cardente used when describing their vision of the Après tasting room in East Bayside to designer Susie Smith Coughlin. Objective met—and then some. “It really was a special project,” says Susie, “in that they really let me go where I wanted to go.” Case in point: When Susie fell in love with a mustard–yellow velvet sofa while working in Atlanta, Ryan and Michael trusted her to incorporate a version of it into four scooped–out “living room booths.” The booths are unquestionably one of Après’s most salient features. Meranti wood, oil–stained to a glistening finish, wraps behind the gorgeous sofas, echoing the Quonset hut’s curved roofline and warming these intimate recesses. “It’s very sexy seating,” says Susie.