Restaurant Development & Design

JUL-AUG 2019

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 9 ROTOLO'S NEW PROTOTYPE CAPITALIZES ON CRAFT is the Italian ag-inspired red, green and white sign of Rotolo's Pizzeria. In its place is the simpler Rotolo's Craft & Crust logo backed by a wood-style composite. The prototype exterior also fea- tures LED lights behind translucent panels. These lights help draw atten- tion to the restaurant without being over the top. They can also be changed based on the season or event. If a local football team is playing, for instance, Rotolo's can switch the lights to the team colors. Feels Like Home The restaurant's interior matches the exterior with comfortable wood elements paired with design touches that add some fun to the experience. Walking into the new Rotolo's, guests ‚nd a space with several different sections — bar, dining room, community tables — placed in an open oor plan. By eschewing dividers and half walls, the chain allows guests, from families to little league teams to groups of college students, to quickly see all their options and choose the best ‚t, says DeBosier. In the new prototype, the ‚rst area guests see is the bar, located front and center. This is a change from the previous design, which had the bar off to one side. This shift, says Bourg, represents Rotolo's renewed commitment to be a great place to hang out and enjoy beer and pizza with friends. Rotolo's, of course, did much more to the bar area than move its location. Instead of a straight bar, the bar at Rotolo's Craft & Crust is curved, with a series of overhead at-screen televi- sions matching that curve. The bar top is made from a single piece of wood taken from a 500-year-old sunken cypress stump, while the front is covered in bark from that stump. At the bar back is a custom brass tower holding 42 taps — mostly craft beers but also some wines and cocktails. To showcase that tower, the chain uses only generic tap handles, not the special handles provided by breweries. With no divider wall, the bar area is identi‚ed by its ooring. While most of the restaurant uses a wood-style luxury vinyl tile, the bar has a hex tile in neutral whites and grays. Immediately next to the bar is the dining room, the spot most families head to. Making a family-friendly pizza place mesh with a 42-tap bar, says DeBosier, is partly cultural. In South- ern Louisiana, it's not unusual to have people enjoying a cocktail in the same general space as children. This blend of bar and family-friendly pizzeria is also supported by the design. "[The new prototype] has a softer side and lends itself to that comfort level that you might feel at home. At home, parents are going to have a beer or cocktail with their pizza, just like a col- lege kid would sit at home on the couch, drinking a beer and eating a pizza. You're sort of in your own environment. It feels comfortable enough that you don't feel like you're not supposed to be there, doing that," Bourg says. In the dining room, and really throughout the restaurant, the comfort- ing, home-like environment is achieved Project Team Project lead: Mitch Rotolo Sr.– Architect: Domain Design Architecture– E&S Dealer: Ducote's–Restaurant & Bar Equipment Interior design: Ali DeBosier, Domain Architecture Kitchen design: Mitch Rotolo Sr. Snapshot Headquarters: Baton Rouge, La. Concept owner: Mitch Rotolo Sr.– Concept: Full menu featuring sand- wiches, appetizers, handmade pizza and craft beer on tap– Segment: Full-service pizza Unit count: 30 Average check: $36.57 Location of new prototype: 411 Ben Hur Drive, Baton Rouge, La. Opened: October 2017 Size: 4,500 square feet Design highlights: Curved bar made of 500-year-old sunken cypress, indoor/ outdoor patio-style space, booths for smaller parties and community tables Build-out time: Nine months The curved bar in the prototype Rotolo's is made with a 500-year-old cypress stump. New restaurants based on the prototype use materials that reŒect the community where they are located.

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