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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8 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 Reader's Choices Megan Walsh is a project architectural de- signer at Aria Group Architects, leading design for one of the four studios in the office. Within the studio, she leads a design team of 10 architectural and interior designers while also overseeing design for each of the projects the studio produces. Walsh started her career at Aria Group as an architectural intern in 2002 and was promoted to architectural designer in 2003 before moving to California. Upon returning to the Chicago area in 2010, she was hired by Aria Group as a senior architectural designer. She was promoted to her current position in 2011. Some of the projects and brands Walsh has been involved with while at Aria Group include numerous locations for both Nando's U.S. and Nando's Canada; Topolobampo's remodel in Chicago; a new prototype for Perry's Steakhouse; several Del Frisco's Double Eagle locations across the U.S.; the new prototype for California Pizza Kitchen; and some new stores and remodels of Dave & Buster's. Walsh is a licensed architect and received her Bachelor of Arts in architec- ture from Washington University in St. Louis. Her previous experience includes LR Development, Lettuce Office and Robert Mahterian Architects. Here, she shares of her favorite tips, tricks and trends. + Clever fixes for low ceilings. If the ceilings are low, focus on the vertical and utilize reflective and light finishes within the space to create the effect of the space being higher. + Windows, windows, windows. Natural light and a view to the outside makes such an impact on a space — the space feels larger and connects to the outdoors. Especially in a restaurant setting, it makes patrons want to enjoy the space much longer. At the Del Frisco Double Eagle in Plano, Texas, we utilized windows to create a dramatic bar space. + Lighting design. Many design- ers utilize the idea of a black- out line in a restaurant space and paint everything above that line dark. Rather than a black- out line, consider using lighting to stop the viewer's eye, so they focus below that field of light. + Spotlight your tables! Every table in your restaurant should have a nice round spot centered directly on it. The benefits are many, but mainly this puts the focus on the food and helps your customers look better. The light from the table will reflect back onto your customers' faces and you avoid awkward shadows that unconcentrated lighting can create. Bonus Tips

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