Restaurant Development & Design

NOV-DEC 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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6 0 • 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 • N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 7 2017 PRODUCT GUIDE OUTDOOR FURNISHINGS S pace for a patio has become a big site-selection criterion for restaurants — and with good reason. They're an absolute win-win: Guests adore wining and dining al fresco, and operators love the additional revenue opportunities that outdoor spaces provide. Robert Polacek, chief creative officer at San Francisco-based Puccini Group, says that while ground-level patios are ter- rific if space allows, many clients are looking up to create signature rooftop dining spaces. Many of the same design and furnishing challenges apply to both ground-level and rooftop spaces, but the latter have a few unique consider- ations to keep in mind. Design challenges outside? RP: Inside, you have four walls, a ceiling and a floor. There's a certain amount of furniture and design that's needed to make that space feel like it's something. But outside — on rooftops, in particular — you don't necessarily have that. So how do you arrange furniture in ways to make it feel like it's an actual space that you want to be a part of? To that point, we also often see outdoor spaces — again, rooftops especially — with virtually no decor at all. Artwork such as sculp- tures and an abundance of potted plants can help to anchor the space and provide a natural softness. Ground-floor patio versus rooftop furnishings? RP: Furnishings that work well on traditional patios may or may not work in a rooftop dining space. Wind is the biggest consideration, but the elements in general hit harder up on a roof. You really need to understand what it's like on your roof on a day-to-day basis and ensure that the furniture is heavy enough to withstand the wind but not too heavy so it's cumbersome. We were working on a rooftop in Chicago, and we actually hired a wind expert to come in and tell us exactly what we'd be working with. God forbid we put chairs up there and they blow off a 20-story building! Exciting new product trends? RP: There's a big focus on quality woven and upholstered outdoor pieces. And we're seeing retro-inspired furniture coming back, such as rattan and mosaic tabletops and bar tops, but made with modern materials that are lighter and can withstand the elements. Bringing the indoors out is a big trend, i.e., playing up side tables with heavy decorative things and using a lot of ceramics or out- door pillows for color and texture. Any- thing that you'd experience in an indoor living room, we're seeing being recreated to produce that same feel outside. Polacek's Five Quick Tips for Maximizing Guest Comfort Outside • Invest in high-quality, comfortable furniture that's specifically designed for outdoor use. • Master the weather by providing sufficient structure, shade, heating and storage. • Make sure staff has easy but out-of- sight access to garbage, supplies, ice, etc. • Use sufficient and creative lighting to enhance the space at night. • Stay connected. Provide power, Wi-Fi, etc. — all of the things that people expect inside should be pro- vided outside as well. FIVE MINUTES WITH: Robert Polacek, Puccini Group Graceful Outdoor Dining Collection The graceful curves of the Harbour Dining Collection create a pleasing aesthetic that is as comfortable indoors as out. The chair is constructed of kiln-dried, plantation-grown teak from Java with a round driftwood weave of HDPE resin wicker and comes with a Sunbrella fabric covered cushion. Impervious to the elements, the Werzalit tabletop is paired with a cast aluminum base. ARD Outdoor

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