Restaurant Development & Design

March-April 2017

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

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M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 1 7 • 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 • 2 9 Herb & Wood Celebrated chef Brian Malarkey's newest concept in San Diego's buzzing neighbor- hood of North Little Italy, Herb & Wood opened in April 2016. The seasonal Mediterranean-inspired restaurant combines the elegance of the 1920s Gilded Age with industrial elements. Christopher Puffer, designer and partner on the project, paired captain's chairs and tufted leather booths with wall-mounted iron arms, from which hang delicate globe pendants. A collection of modern portraits and nudes by artist Johnny Lane hang between the iron arms. Exposed ironwork and gilded flourishes like large, ornate chandeliers are a nod to the French Quarter, while combinations of azure ombre walls and live greenery offer some Southern charm. A grand central bar made from French Poly Var rests beneath a barrel- vaulted ceiling, and a relaxed outdoor space features multiple seating areas anchored by a double-sided fireplace. Photo by Sam Wells and Becca Batista Craft & Commerce The newly expanded, 3,300-square-foot Craft & Commerce in Little Italy was originally opened by acclaimed restaurateur Arsalun Tafazoli of CH Projects in 2009. It underwent a multimillion-dollar remodel last fall that also included the build-out of adjacent tiki bar False Idol. Highly visible at the corner of Kettner Boulevard and Beech Street by the extended, wraparound patio lined with built-in fire-pit tables and ceiling-high bifold windows, the restaurant's exterior also features a convex brick exterior displaying Craft & Commerce's guiding principle: "Demand Less." Inside, a dimly lit, industrial literary cabin of sorts features hundreds of hardbound classic novels stacked on ceiling- high bookshelves, along with handwritten passages from David Foster Wallace scrawled on the walls in between mountings of century-old taxidermy, some of which was sourced from San Diego's Natural History Museum. Guests are greeted by a dramatic grassland scene of a lion preying on a warthog displayed above the taps at the main bar, while the heads and antlers of leviathan-type beasts are mounted overhead from the distressed wooden walls. At the heart of Executive Chef Ted Smith's revamped kitchen, a custom-made wood-fired grill fills the dining room with the sounds of crackling embers and smells of smoke as it's used to cook an ají-marinated Tomahawk pork chop and other slow-cooked meats, vegetables and grilled seafood. At the bar, a 24-tap lineup of craft beers offers diners a wide selection of brews and beer-based cocktails. Photo by Zack Benson

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