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 • 7 5 wouldn't be able to tell if you were standing three feet away," Klunkel says. The composite brick also meant a space savings of 7 inches in depth since it's only 3 inches deep, an important factor in a small restaurant. This loca- tion measures 1,500 square feet — less than half the size of two of the three other Spring Chicken restaurants, two of which consume 4,000 square feet; the third is only 1,400 square feet. A final bonus to using the com- posite materials: It's about 30 percent cheaper in labor and materials cost. Adjacent to the bar is the restau- rant seating area: a light, bright, natural space that contains around 10 tables made from reclaimed wood, as with the traditional locations. The grab-and-go area is on the other side of the restau- rant, making it easy for rushed custom- ers. It features two cashiers and an open grab-and-go case. Digital menu boards above the grab-and-go area are eye-catching and easy to change out. Though Klunkel prefers chalkboard menus in line with the brand, the ease of use of the digital boards, as well as the ability to show pictures of the food for non-English speakers — an important attribute in an airport — meant they won out. The final big challenge was the airport utilities, which ran above and below the restaurant to different floors. "We had to get really creative and work with existing electric and gas lines with specific loads," Klunkel says. "You just have to make it work." Geography Is Destiny There's a distinct difference between the East and West Coasts. When fast- casual chain Cava expanded to Los Angeles from the Atlantic seaboard, its designers realized they needed to make some changes for it to fit in. Over the past year, the health- focused Washington, D.C.-based fast- casual chain, which serves salads, grain bowls and pita sandwiches, has opened three locations in and around Los Angeles, with another three coming in 2017. Right now, the concept has 22 locations between the two coasts. From a design perspective, Cava executives wanted the West Coast stores to be brighter and airier. "We have used a lighter palette on the Los Angeles restaurants," says Peter Hapstak, owner of HapstakDemetriou+ design studio in Washington, D.C., and lead architect for Cava. "We've pushed the palettes to be whiter, so it fits the beach culture, the West Coast vibe." The East Coast stores tend to feature darker colors, often with black or brick concrete floors. "There tends to be a broodiness about them, but the West Coast stores tend to be brighter," Hapstak says. Cava's West Coast units also all have patios, befitting the year-round clement weather, though that may change as the concept expands into Northern California. The outdoor seat- ing also helps open up the restaurants, Hapstak says. The design of the West Coast units makes extensive use of glass to merge the inside and outside. Because of the large patios, which typically contain 10 to 20 seats, the interior footprint is usually 20 percent to 25 percent smaller and contains just a dozen or so chairs, though the overall locations are slightly larger than their East Coast counterparts. According to Hapstak, having so much seating outside "brings a vibrancy and the visibility to the restaurant, and that's a positive proposition because you see people rather than just a storefront. It's much more lively." This openness also comes from higher ceilings and more — and bigger — windows, he says. It's not hard to highlight a West Coast vibe when you're actually on the West Coast, Hapstak says. For example, most of Cava's California restaurants are in one-story buildings. In contrast, the chain's East Coast locations are typically on the first floor of a multi- story building. And the core and shell of the West Coast buildings are made of wood truss with steel in the roof and concrete block walls. "This type of building doesn't exist on the East Coast," he explains. On the West Cost, Cava has also ex- posed much of the wood structure of the buildings, "which plays well with their palette, creating warmth in the spaces," says Bill Young, senior project manager of HapstakDemetriou+. "This is a far cry from the concrete, glass and steel of the East Coast." Cava is also using murals on the outside of some of its West Coast buildings to add color and flair. A Built-In Drive-Thru In January of last year, Smoothie King opened inside a former bank in Nashville, Tenn. This is just one of the New Orleans-based brand's 750 U.S. locations to open inside what was a banking facility, and there's a signifi- cant advantage and disadvantage that comes with each. The design of Cava's West Coast locations feature the use of brighter materials and finishes. Photo courtesy of Cava

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