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 7 agaves. "At night, we have candles there, and it's a pebble-stone floor, so it feels very much indoor-outdoor," Reginbogin notes. To further the Spanish colonial nar- rative, the design team chose traditional wide-plank wood flooring, plaster walls, arched wood ceiling treatments and period-inspired furnishings. Long fabric drapes framing each of the archways introduce the Mexican floral folk-art pat- terns and colors used elsewhere, adding intimacy and vibrancy to the room while providing design consistency. Modernism again comes into play on Mi Vida's top floor but in historically inspired ways. Here, the design narra- tive introduces more pre-colonial Aztec and Mayan influences, both architecturally and via decor. "For the top floor, we didn't have as much height as on the first floor, so we used ceiling elements and ceiling materials to articulate different areas," Tracz says. "The bar there, in particular, is a focal point. It has this really colorful wallpaper that's an abstraction of Mexican florals on the back bar. But it flows up and into a more geometric pattern and wraps over the ceiling, creating a very cool place to hang out. It really draws people to the bar and visually takes you from the bar on one side of the room to the veranda that opens off it on the other." Textures and patterns evoking Mayan and Aztec motifs can be seen on the bar front, on the wood cutout dining-room ceiling and in the breezeway that separates the bar from the din- ing area's concrete block wall. They're seen as well in the glass wall that can be opened or closed as needed for events in the private dining room, also called the Cactus Room for its artistic black-and- white, cactus-motif wallcovering. When not in use for private events, the 40-seat Cactus Room can be opened and used for additional bar-area seating. "It all plays together visually," Reginbogin says. "As on the other levels, it's Mexico, but it's not in-your- face Mexico. That's what we were going for. And the configuration of spaces gives us a lot of flexibility, particularly with having a second kitchen on the top floor. That gives us the ability to do private events there without putting strain on the main kitchen. Ultimately, this is a great-looking restaurant, but that's kind of irrelevant if it doesn't operate well. It's big, it's high-volume and we knew it had to be as much if not more about function as form. I think we succeeded on both." + Bar Private Dining Room Veranda Dining Level 2 Up Private Dining Room Stair 1a Vestibule Corridor Elevator Lobby Mezzanine Level

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