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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7 8 • 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 EL FIVE IS A VIBRANT FEAST FOR THE SENSES isn't a major focus at other Edible Beats restaurants, but it is at El Five, so the visual helps to underscore that aspect of the menu and promote its natural pairing with tapas. An intersection of corridors then takes guests either past or through the kitchen on their way to the bar, terrace or dining room. "The circulation is like a figure 8, so you can move around the kitchen or cut through it," Davis explains. "The two 'donut holes' of the 8 are the kitchens." The only portion of the kitchen that's completely out of view is the prep kitchen with cold storage located six floors below in the building's basement. Even the dish room, tucked off an open corridor between the wine room and the lounge, could presumably be viewed by curious guests passing by. Of El Five's total space, one-third was designated for the bar and lounge seating. Fronting the east side of the res- taurant, the bar offers gorgeous city views and spills out onto the terrace, thanks to a wall of accordion-style windows that open to create indoor-outdoor appeal. Customers can sit at the large u- shaped bar on the terrace side and face the interior of the restaurant, or they can sit inside and face out. And the slightly tapered lower end of the terrace, in front of the bar, offers additional bar seating, high-top cocktail rounds and counter seats along the outer railing. As for the design of the large dining space at the other end of the terrace, Stephenson says that the intent was to create a contradiction to the dark and funky interior. "We wanted it to be a lighter, more airy experience outside, so we went with a crisp black-and-white palette there," he says. "While the same is true to some extent inside, outside the view really is the design hero." + Two-Kitchen Scheme: We liked the experience of entry, and we knew that the kitchen had to be tight to the entry. So instead of fighting it and going around it somehow, we figured, 'Why not go through it?' Guests literally walk either right next to the open kitchen or through it via the corridor that separates the hot kitchen from the front display cold kitchen to get to the bar, terrace or dining room. Having a separate hot and cold kitchen isn't the direction we wanted to go initially. We wanted to have some live cooking going on out front, showcasing a woodburning feature for the paellas. But ultimately, we recognized that the seating was too close and, given the indoor-outdoor nature of the space, there were safety and smoke concerns due to airflow. We also realized that we needed to maximize seating, which called for a more compact kitchen design. Wine Room: We all had various ideas about what you'd see when you first exit the elevator but decided on wine. As soon as the elevator doors open, you see into a glass- walled, temperature-controlled wine room. It helps to em- phasize that part of the menu, and BOSS did some really cool things with lighting in there, so it's pretty dramatic. Cold Kitchen: It's completely on display. It includes the chef's counter and four different refrigerated stations: vegetable, raw bar/seafood, dessert and general. Given its central position, we had to be careful not to obstruct sight lines from anywhere in the restaurant. All storage had to be undercounter, which means there's definitely a lot of restocking of plates that goes on given the small-plates menu format. Hot Side: It's semi-enclosed and has openings that enable easy communication among staff and that create an expediting area between the two kitchens. From the dining room, when you look back toward that kitchen, you can definitely see the chefs at work and get the energy from the hot kitchen. The setup back there includes a grill line, saute, salamander, plancha and hot holding equipment. There's also a small, mise en place/garde manger prep area directly behind it. It's small but very efficient. Consultant Insights SEAN CALLNIN, Ricca Design Studio The design team strategically layered hexagonal mirrors over the main design feature, vintage Middle Eastern movie posters, to bring more depth and inter- est to the space. With stunning views of downtown Denver and be- yond, El Five quickly became one of the city's hottest spots for outdoor dining.

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