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 6 • 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 How To How To: Catch the Mixed-Use Wave By Dana Tanyeri T rue Food Kitchen, the healthy- food brand founded by Sam Fox of Fox Restaurant Concepts and integrative medicine guru Dr. Andrew Weil, is looking at all types of locations as it ramps up expansion to around 10 new units a year. High on its list of targets are plum spots in the bur- geoning mixed-use development arena. Designed as walkable, high-energy urban or suburban environments in which consumers can live, work, play, dine, shop and, in many cases, enjoy community-building special events, mixed-use developments deliver built-in traf€c and a solid mix of both business and residential density. "We need that mix because our model calls for a 50-50 split between lunch and dinner," says Chuck Chavez, vice president of real estate and devel- opment for the Phoenix-based chain, which is approaching the 30-unit mark. "That's one reason we really like mixed- use. But we also like it because those environments speak so well to how so many people want to live today, whether it's Millennials who want a lot of options and amenities without having to drive or empty nesters looking to downsize and enjoy the bene€ts of urban-style living." In recent years, True Food Kitchen opened in mixed-use developments in- cluding Vertis Green Hills in Nashville, Tenn.; Solaire Bethesda in Bethesda, Md.; BLVD Place in Houston; and Ballston Quarter in Arlington, Va. The chain plans additional openings at Ava- lon in Alpharetta, Ga.; The Julia at St. Charles in New Orleans; and Midtown Tampa in Tampa, Fla. Each unit has its own vibe, and each requires design and operational šexibility that Chavez says is simply part of the territory when considering mixed-use development locations. Vet HVAC Capacity, Access To wit, while restaurants are a critical part of the mix in terms of creating a develop- ment's desired amenity vibe and buzz, the fact that they're often directly below residential and/or of€ce spaces creates unique challenges. The biggest among those can be managing air quality. Many developers build ground-šoor shell spaces designated for restaurant use, but they often do so without know- ing the level of mechanical infrastruc- ture that future restaurant tenants will ultimately require. And with other ten- ants already in place above or adjacent to restaurant spaces, modifying a build- ing's systems to accommodate higher loads can be challenging, disruptive and extremely expensive. Houston-based architecture, design, planning and consulting €rm Gensler's project portfolio includes full At Memorial Green, chef-owned Jonathan's The Rub encompasses a 4,500-square-foot corner space on the ground €oor with double-height ceilings. Images by Peter Molick, courtesy of Gensler

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