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 5 keeping with the modern Mexican narra- tive, the tree's design is subtle, abstract and artful. "I wanted it very muted and stoic, almost like it's flowing up from the concrete floor. I didn't want a realistic or cheesy-looking tree — no green leaves, no canopy," Reginbogin says. "I wanted a gray tree in winter — rustic and unfinished-looking. It's made of steel and fiberglass and is adorned with 50 Oaxacan folk-art-style, hand-carved and painted wooden flowers. There are four different sizes of flowers and four styles, but each one has a distinct color treat- ment. And we have the tree very subtly lit with a light that filters through the flowers and branches and shifts slightly, creating a bit of movement in the dining room at night." The first big design element to be decided on, the Tree of Life set the tone for much of Mi Vida's look and feel, from warm woods used for tables and banquettes to traditional Mexican folk- art colors used in its flowers — pink and blue, in particular. They're used consis- Snapshot Opened: February 2018 Location: Washington, D.C., District Wharf Concept: Authentic, modern Mexican Total size: 11,000 square feet including patios No. of seats: 350+ Average per-person check: $45 dinner; $25 lunch (plus tax and gratuity) Property features: Prime corner loca- tion, window walls on three sides, two stories plus mezzanine, three patios, two bars, two kitchens, semiprivate and private dining rooms Design highlights: 19-foot Tree of Life, distinct narrative on each level, neu- tral base with bold pops of color, folk- art-inspired decor elements, Mexican tile, raw and polished concrete, custom decorative wall coverings Build-out: 10 months The Hacienda Room sits behind arches with ornate wrought-iron balcony details overlooking the first floor. Wide-plank flooring, arched wood ceiling treatments and period-inspired furnishings create a Spanish colonial design narrative. The first big design element to be decided on, the 19-foot Tree of Life, set the tone for much of Mi Vida's look and feel from natural, rustic finishes to traditional Mexican folk-art colors used in its flowers. Softly lit pink wallpaper behind rose gold metal grid work on the main level's back bar add color and interest to the otherwise muted space.

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