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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6 2 • 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 the old chandelier and install the new one, contractors had to uninstall the host station that sits directly below the fixture. The groin vault where the chande- lier is installed was also a challenge. The design itself is complex, so building it was a challenge. The team had to go through multiple contractors before they could find one that was up to the task. "The groin vault is a very compli- cated geometric structure with curves on curves. We also wanted to do this really fine planking on it, so all the joints had to be perfect. It really took a very skilled craftsman," says McCormack. The Airstream was another issue. Initially, the design team thought the general contractor would have to build a faux Airstream for the space. As it happened, the contractor had a contact with an Airstream collector/dealer. The contractor was able to acquire a unit for the project, which it then cut lengthwise for installation. The wall that the Airstream was intended for, however, is actually longer and taller than the actual Airstream, presenting a mismatch. The contractor's solution was to fabricate stainless-steel panels that it could add to the Airstream, making it both taller and longer. This required cut- ting the actual Airstream sections into additional pieces, welding everything into one unit and smoothing out the seams of the weld. "[The contractor] did an amazing job, all the way down to having the taillights light up. The detailing on it is amazing," McCormack says. Details and Detailing Despite all the work put into this design and the success the restaurant has seen in the year-plus since its opening, the San Clemente Ruby's design won't be replicated. This is in part due to Ruby's desire to localize each store to its com- munity. Another Ruby's currently under renovation, for instance, is being given a yacht theme reflecting the area's many yacht clubs. Beyond that, though, is a shift in Ruby's growth strategy. Labor costs, predicts Cavanaugh, will make it difficult to build full-size, full-service family restaurants in the future. Ruby's, then, is focusing on building smaller stores with limited services — even just counter service in some cases. The restaurants will stick with the 1960s theme and lean heavily on googie design. They won't be cookie-cutter, though. "That's boring for me, and it's boring for the guest," says Cavanaugh. Instead, they'll be designed to fit their neighborhood while still providing a retro diner experience. "We're going to be tak- ing advantage of locations that perhaps didn't work for a yogurt shop or didn't work for a taco stand and then morph those into these unique locations. They are not going to share a lot with the surf theme and the yacht club. It's going to be a classic slice of Americana. It's still going to be in the Ruby's family but its own version." + %& && & % !& !& "& "& && %# $& &

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