Upon submonolayer deposition of Azure A molecules onto reconstructed Au(1 1 1), two-dimensional quasi-rectangular islands are observed by low-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy. Strikingly, the 22 x root 3 reconstruction with alternating hexagonal close packed (hcp) and face centered cubic (fcc) domains of the native Au(1 1 1) surface layer is found to be strongly modified underneath the self-assembled islands of Azure A molecules. The bridge-hcp-bridge-fcc-bridge period of 63 angstrom on clean Au(1 1 1) is expanded by about 12% and occasionally reaches even 22%. This increase of the unreconstructed fcc areas underneath the molecular islands reflects a partial lifting of the reconstruction caused by the interaction between the adsorbed molecules and the outermost Au atoms at the molecule-metal interface. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.