Restaurant Development & Design

NOV-DEC 2017

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N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 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 7 not compete with them or with the views outside. They again tapped Cucci's collec- tion of oddities and interesting materials, including hexagonal mirrors that he'd bought in bulk and a cache of Monkeypod wood that he'd sourced from Indonesia. The mirrors, which the designers layered strategically over sections of the posters, add interest and texture as well as reflect snippets of the view beyond. "Some of the mirrors are sort of bronzy, and some have a coppery tone," Davis says. "So we manipulated them to cre- ate a layering effect that evokes Middle Eastern patterning. At first, Justin just wanted to show the images, but ulti- mately, he bought into the idea of the layering with the mirrors to bring more depth and interest into the space." Similar patterning comes into play on a wall that separates the two portions of the kitchen. There, pieces of steel plate were built into a geometric grid pattern that adds visual interest as well as provides practical and much-needed shelf space for storing plates and other items. The installation of the grid, Stephenson says, "was certainly inspired by traditional patterns that you see in Southern Spain or in Eastern countries throughout the region. As with the mir- rors, depending how you look at it, it also creates a repetitive Star of David shape." As for Cucci's stash of Monkeypod wood, it was used to build custom table- tops, a chef's counter and banquettes, serving as a warm, rich and strategi- cally lit counterpart to the otherwise muted, dark interior. While initial design schemes pulled a lot of colors from the posters, the team later opted for simple, quiet charcoal gray for the fabrics and matching concrete floors. "We started out with colors galore, playing off the vibrancy and celebrating the aesthetic in the posters, but ulti- mately, it was a little too noisy," Cucci says. "It took away from the view, from that beautiful feeling of being on top of the world. So, we really scaled it down, and the posters became the basket that we put all of our marbles in." Kitchen Center Stage If the vintage movie imagery gives El Five its unique character and soul, its kitchen gives it the buzzy energy that brings it all to life. Designed to celebrate food as an open dialogue, it's presented as two separate elements: a slightly larger, completely open "cold" kitchen that incorporates a seven-seat chef's counter and, across the corridor, a semi- enclosed "hot" kitchen. The display portion of the kitchen is a central feature in the dining room. "We wanted it to be a prominent energy source in the space, probably because there wasn't a lot of other energy in that architecture and building; it was just a box with windows," Cucci says. Arriving guests depart the eleva- tor into a small foyer, where the first welcoming feature they encounter is a glass-walled wine storage room. Wine Project Team Edible Beats: Justin Cucci, Megan Da- vis, Corey Ferguson, Jeremy Kittelson, Jill Zeh Richter Interior design: Chris Davis, Kevin Stephenson, Brent Forget, BOSS. architecture Kitchen design: Sean Callnin, Tarah Schroeder, Ricca Design Studios General contractor: Catamount Con- structors Steel fabrication: Joan of Arc Welding Wine display, barstools: Black Hound Design Custom concrete: Concrete-Visions LLC Millwork: Robert Chillino Landlord: Gravitas Development Designed to celebrate food as an open dialogue, a completely open, centrally positioned display kitchen incor- porates a chef's counter. Black acrylic material used on the ceiling creates a watery, reflective effect.

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