Restaurant Development & Design

JUL-AUG 2018

restaurant development + design is a user-driven resource for restaurant professionals charged with building new locations and remodeling existing units.

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S P O N S O R E D C O N T E N T 2 0 1 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 • 2 5 R enovation is difficult for any restaurant, but doing it in New York City presents a whole dif- ferent set of challenges. Alta Calidad is a Mexican-inspired concept in Brooklyn which recently underwent a renovation, and Chef/ Owner Akhtar Nawab talks about it. Was your renovation front or back of house? Akhtar Nawab: I would say 95 percent front of house, 5 percent back. It was actually a ramen bar before we acquired the space. It had one long bar going through the center. We cut the bar way down so it only seats eight. We added low-top, communal and high-top tables. What that did was create an "elevation" between the high-tops and low-tops, so it gave a little more "visual texture" and made it feel like a bigger restaurant. Did you have downtime? AN: We built this place in three months; we had a little bit of downtime. I've built a lot of restaurants in New York, and historically, you have six to 10 months downtime. New York permitting is a little complicated. No matter what happens, there's always some degree of downtime. Any surprises in your renovation? AN: Cutting that bar in half really allowed more space for people to congregate. It made the space feel more inviting and welcome. And we ended up cutting a hole in the wall and exposing a portion of the kitchen, which made it feel more like a living- room environment. No matter where you are, the stories on the following pages can help if you're think- ing about renovating. Great Makeover The A variety of table heights adds visual interest. Photo Courtesy of Liz Clayman

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