Restaurant Development & Design

JUL-AUG 2018

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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 • J U L Y / A U G U S T 2 0 1 8 RUBY'S DINER MOVING FORWARD Changing Ruby's for younger gen- erations meant choosing a new period to recreate. For Cavanaugh, that wasn't a difficult decision. To his ear, the rock 'n' roll of the mid-'50s has too much of a "rattle" for a good dining experience; the late '60s is too "acid-y," and the architecture of the '70s is too much. The late '50s to early '60s, with its smoother pop and Motown mix coupled with design ranging from googie (think boomerangs and amoeba shapes) to mid- century modern, made the most sense. It not only has a nostalgic appeal to those who lived through the era, but younger people are also drawn to the music and design of that period, Cavanaugh says. The first of Ruby's '60s-themed din- ers opened in San Diego in 2014. These stores were googie inspired and featured midcentury modern fixtures and furniture. In March of 2017, the chain introduced another new design. While still a '60s- themed restaurant, the chain and its fran- chisee, Steve Craig of Craig Realty Group, returned to Ruby's hyper-local approach. Recognizing San Clemente as a center of 1960s surf culture, the restaurant was given a '60s surf-inspired design. Located in a high-end outlet center, some of the most eye-catching elements of this Ruby's are dictated by the design of the center itself. One of these is the large groin vault (an architectural ele- ment created by the intersection of two barrel vaults) that defines much of the dining room. According to Rick McCor- mack, president of Studio McCormack, the team was able to create a groin vault because of a tower element in the outlet center's design. The vault was a way to make the most of that volume. The vault itself, though, presented another issue: high noise levels. To com- bat the noise, the design team included some additional elements in this feature. "We decided to add the spaced wood planks. The spacing allows the sound to travel through, and there's insulation be- hind it to absorb the sound. That worked out well, and we didn't end up with a noise issue," says McCormack. That wasn't the only challenge pre- sented by the vault. The main dining room seating is comprised entirely of booths. With such a high ceiling, the designers wanted to make the booths feel more intimate through the use of pendant lights. It didn't make sense, though, to hang pendants 20-plus feet from the ceiling. The solution was to create custom V-shaped metal structures that attach to the barrier between booths, says Studio McCormack designer Yuri Tag. Electrical wiring is strung through these structures, allowing pendants to hang just a few feet at each booth. The vault helps create a dramatic, inviting space, and it also helps show- case one of the restaurant's signature design elements: a chandelier featuring surfboards with the Ruby's logo. Already an eye-catching piece, the chandelier is given extra oomph thanks to a motor that causes the surfboards to revolve around the center light. As a surf-themed restaurant, other surfing-inspired touches can be found throughout the design. The booth tables, with bright colors and stripes down the middle, are surfboard inspired, while pho- tos provided by local resources like San Clemente's Surfing Heritage and Culture Center and the San Clemente Historical Society are used as art elements. Since Ruby's San Clemente has a retro surfing theme, many of its other elements also recall the era. Some of these are subtle, such as the wall paneling with boomerang art and the terrazzo-tiled floor. Others are more eye-catching, particularly the Airstream trailer that sits along the back wall of the dining area. This piece frames the opening and entryway to the semi-open kitchen and adds a "glamping" element to the design. More Than a Dining Room In addition to the main dining area, this Ruby's location has three other distinct Project Team Interior and exterior design: Studio McCormack Franchise owner/operator: Craig Realty Group Architect: JC Marvick & Associates General contractor: LJ Russell Construction, Inc. Kitchen design: Avanti Restaurant Solutions Ruby's San Clemente's dining room includes '60s-style fixtures and finishes accompanied by surf- inspired touches like surfboard tables.

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