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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J U L Y / A U G U S 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 • 6 1 spaces, each with its own look and feel. The largest of these is the outdoor patio, with seating for more than 90. Much of the patio's style was set by the shopping center's design, including the Spanish Colonial look and the red brick pavers. "We had to treat the center as the background of the canvas, and we added the painting on top of it," says McCormack. The added elements included pe- riod pieces such as surfboard shapes on the underside of the awning, tiki torches and era-appropriate outdoor lighting. The highlight of the space, though, are custom-made, gas-fired fire pit tables. At each table, a protective shield sits around the actual fire. The tabletops, made of a white solid surface material, are shaped like amoeba, once again recalling the googie design of the 1960s. Another unique space is the private dining room. With seating for eight, the space is tiki themed, with bamboo thatched walls and tiki heads. The room, says Cavanaugh, is one of the most popular places in the restaurant. While the room has just eight seats, it opens up to the patio, allowing Ruby's to ac- commodate larger parties. In addition to the tiki room, Ruby's San Clemente has a second separate indoor space, this one used for the restaurant's ice cream sales. According to McCormack, some Ruby's locations do have ice cream sections, but they're smaller and built into the main section of the restaurant, typically as an exten- sion of a dining counter. In this case, the ice cream section is its own room, off to the right of the main dining area. It's been given a din- ing room entryway and an exterior entry door. That exterior entrance, McCormack says, is designed to boost sales from foot traffic, creating a whole new revenue stream for the operation. "The location in an outlet center means there's a great number of people walking around. The ability of people to come in though its own exterior entry means you don't feel like you have to eat at Ruby's to get the ice cream. You can just walk in and order directly from the ice cream counter." The space itself has a very classic ice cream shop look, including small hexago- nal tiles on the floor and beadboard that's been painted with pink, red and white ver- tical stripes, giving the room a whimsical feel. It also features marquee lights that declare "I Scream, You Scream." The space's other key design ele- ment is a set of light fixtures featuring a giant whipped cream dollop along with a giant custom-made cherry. The original intent was to have lights in both, "but we thought the red glow might not be so pleasing, so we took the light out of the cherry and limited it to the whipped cream!" Tag says. Designing Versus Building One of the notable aspects of this proj- ect, says McCormack, is how smoothly it went. The restaurant was being built in an entirely new development, so there wasn't any existing infrastructure to work around or surprises when the walls were opened up. In addition, Craig, the franchise owner, is also the developer of the outlet mall where this Ruby's is located. While he played by his own rules for the design and exterior look and feel, this naturally made the entire landlord approvals pro- cess quicker and easier. Instead, many of the challenges involved the design itself, specifically the gap between designing something and then actually having it made, McCormack says. Take the surfboard chandelier, for example. Obviously not a stock piece, this unit was custom designed and made by a fixture company. An issue with the design, however, caused it to stop rotating. Fortu- nately, this occurred during the construc- tion phase, making it easier to coordinate a replacement. Unfortunately, to remove The exterior includes surf-themed touches like the surfboard shapes on the underside of the awning as well as '60s design elements, like the amoeba-shaped patio tables with built-in fire pits. The tiki-themed private dining room features thatched walls and tiki heads.

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