Restaurant Development & Design

WINTER 2014

restaurant development + design is a user-driven resource for restaurant professionals charged with building new locations and remodeling existing units.

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3 8 • R E S T A U R A N T D E V E L O P M E N T + D E S I G N • W I N T E R 2 0 1 4 don't have Wi-Fi alongside more digital spaces. I think the future of design in this regard will be about provid- ing more options for customers and embracing this idea of what I call "un- expected comfort" — eating in a more lounge or communal area rather than upright in traditional chairs and tables. We put freplaces at Wendy's to recre- ate the home family room experience for diners, and they were a hit. rd+d: How do outdoor spaces work into this gathering concept? Musco: There is a huge trend in creating extraordinary outdoor spaces, rather than just tacking on a patio off to the side. Patios now feature lounge sofas with low tables, fre pits, misters for hot areas, beautiful shade structures and other places to gather around cooking stations and game areas. This outdoor living room is becoming more mainstream in the restaurant category, and while they do well on the West Coast, you're seeing these spaces more across the rest of the country. The patio is becoming a more integral part of the architecture and design of the entire building. rd+d: What are the trends when it comes to lighting? Lopez-Rubalcava: For our chain clients, we are defnitely seeing more use of LED from a sustainable standpoint, but they are also using LEDs more because they can be eas- ily integrated into new design fxtures, like oversized, drum pendant lamps. Poole: I agree. In the past, our clients were nervous about how much LED lighting cost, but now they realize they can save more money in the long run and incan- descent bulbs are becoming a thing of the past. The latest trend I see with LEDs is rustic mixed with modern. Last year we saw a lot of Edison bulbs, but lately I'm seeing fxtures that are a little more creative and looking like pieces of art. Musco: The next wave in lighting trends seems to go beyond just installing LED bulbs. We are now able to design com- pletely different types of light fxtures People are get- ting more comfortable with communal tables. While some say communal tables are out, I am actually seeing more cli- ents requesting them. They are a little different than in years past, though. We recently had a client (seen here: Fieldings Wood Grille in Woodlands, Texas) want to tie in communal seat- ing with technology in the form of an iPad bar for customers to sit by themselves and do their own thing, or for small groups to congregate. Nicole Poole, project designer at Aria Architects, Chicago Photo by Ed Rode

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