Restaurant Development & Design

MAY-JUN 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 Y / J U N E 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 • 5 3 it was giving this material a sort of old/ modern twist. We wanted to show it off instead of trying to hide it." When the team removed a section of concrete ceiling panels from an inte- rior area to create an open-air patio, they repurposed them as pavers. "They're very thick and were monsters to deal with. We had to bring Bobcats in to move them around and get them in place," Spencer says. "We cut them in squares and put artificial turf between them for a modern English garden feel. We also added a concrete fountain feature on the patio, made by a local artist who specializes in concrete sculpture." Spencer also tapped that artist, Paul Oglesby, to create a variety of design elements throughout Eberly's interior. Pendant lights suspended over curved booths in the dining room have concrete shades with brass bowls for softness; din- ing room tables fronting blue velvet ban- quettes have tops of concrete trimmed in brass, as do some patio tables; restroom countertops are concrete; and ladyfinger- style concrete tiles embellish and anchor signature light fixtures on large columns framing the Cedar Tavern bar. Original concrete ceiling beams are exposed in both the Cedar Tavern and the study, and plaster work on walls in both spaces plays off of the building's original, age-softened concrete. Overall, Spencer and Dickson say Eberly was both the largest and longest project they've worked on, stretching over a three-year period from initial discussions to opening. However, as with most adap- tive reuse projects, "the end result justifies the means," Dickson says. "Part of the fun and part of the frustration on a project like this is that it's very much a design-build situation, almost like an art project. Every week, there was a surprise and something new to figure out. It may not have been the most efficient way to build a restau- rant, but it's 100 percent why it has so much beauty and character." + Bar reconstruction: The original bar had been disassembled into no fewer than 1,000 pieces, some of which were one-inch by one-inch, and many of which were incredibly detailed. We had to reconstruct it in a way that was as authentic as possible. Some parts were missing or unusable, so whether wood or brass, they had to be created to match. The original stained-glass panels were falling apart. The company that made them in the 1800s is still in business, so we shipped them there to have them strengthened and restored. The original bar wasn't built to handle modern plumbing, electrical and refrigeration, so all of that all had to be worked in, too. Permit purgatory: The biggest hurdle early on was learning we needed a new water line. We ended up having to cross five lanes of traffic on Lamar Boulevard, one of the busiest central-city arteries, to get it done. That process set us back about three months, and we didn't get our water turned on until a week or two before opening. Exterior: The building is unassuming from the outside, and that was part of its appeal. We loved the idea of a very simple, clean-lined exterior juxtaposed with the very rich and multilayered interior. It's so unexpected when people walk inside, it takes their breath away. Acoustics: That was very much an issue. We wanted to leave all of the original concrete ceiling beams exposed but ended up putting a coffered ceiling with acoustic panels in the dining room. We did leave the beams exposed in the Cedar Tavern, but within the first couple of weeks, it was clear the space was too loud. After the fact, we had to add some acoustic panels in there as well. Contractor Insights MICHAEL DICKSON, ICON Design + Build Custom furnishings and millwork in the dining room blend midcentury modern and art nouveau influences. Mahogany, brass and concrete are dominant materials, while a rich, saturated blue adds elegance throughout.

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