The giant New Yorker hotel near Pennsylvania Station – which recently joined the Wyndham system – is creating an upscale restaurant inside a real vault that for decades had sat collecting dust.

I toured the construction site yesterday with hotel officials and walked away impressed with the ambitious plan.

The restaurant should open next fall, which will make it of the first noticeable changes during the first year of a five-year property renovation.

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When the vault restaurant opens, expect American cuisine and a healthy wine selection. No news on menu, prices or theme yet, but I personally hope the venue receives a bank heist movie theme.

In terms of design, the hotel’s making use of every bit of the vault’s history, including beautiful iron work that once secured the entrance to the vault and the metal safe deposit box doors. (The boxes, however, have been removed to gain about two feet of space within the vault.) The only other time I’ve seen safe deposit box doors used in this type of a setting is at the Mandarin Oriental Barcelona’s bar.

It was March when the massive hotel signed a franchise agreement with the Wyndham chain. Other changes underway include an ambitious room renovation program that will do away with the old cast-iron tubs and replace them modern, tiled showers with glass doors. As of yesterday, about 110 rooms – 10% of the total inventory today – have been renovated.

Expect more on the overall transformation of the hotel, along with what it means for the Penn Station area, sometime next week.

Readers: What do you think about eating in a restaurant inside an old vault?