Restaurant Development & Design

FALL 2014

restaurant development + design is a user-driven resource for restaurant professionals charged with building new locations and remodeling existing units.

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1 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 • F A L L 2 0 1 4 Spiaggia, Chicago Display type: Floor-to-ceiling walk-through wine room at entrance Bottles held: 1,700 "We had been around for 30 years and had amassed an incredible wine collec- tion, but not one bottle was on display," says Tony Mantuano, chef-owner of Chicago's iconic fne-dining restaurant Spiaggia. The motivation to include a memorable way to display the collection came when the restaurant was redesigned and renovated earlier this year. "We wanted to make sure the wine was frst and foremost in front of the guests," he explains. The result? Guests cannot miss the importance Spiaggia places on wine, as they now walk through a custom wine room to enter the restaurant. "The wine room is where we place all our trophy wines, the ones the collectors want to drink and that are hard to fnd. This sends a great message," Mantuano says. Spiaggia's wine room integrates strategically into the structure of the entryway. The restaurant resides on the second foor of a commercial building, so its front entrance faces into the internal passageway. The wine display is built so that people can drink up its grandeur from the outside as well as the inside. Diners and passersby see bottles placed horizontally, three-deep, on foor-to-ceiling racks fanking the front door. As one enters through the outer-wall wine cases, the host station sits directly in front on the "fourth" wall. Here, there are doors to the dining room. The walls on either side are also foor-to-ceiling cases and craftily hide restroom doors. "Whether you're walking by, going into the restaurant or using the facilities, you're going to see the wine," he says. The glass-enclosed cases feature stainless steel racking. The mechanics for temperature and humidity control reside in the ceiling above. The cases stay locked, with only the sommelier or two cellar masters gaining access via key when a customer purchases a bottle. While designing support for the weight of the wine cases and building appropriate temperature controls are challenges, Mantuano says that proper lighting is also one of the most important elements. Spiaggia's case has clear LED lighting behind the wine so that it doesn't glare or refect in people's faces. The display room holds 1,700 bottles. Another 1,800 reside in a temperature-controlled room behind the scenes. TREND Display type: Floor-to-ceiling wine display and tasting room near entrance Bottles held: 4,000 Troy Guard, chef and owner, wanted a spectacular way to display the nearly 4,000 bottles of wine his restaurant offers patrons. Guard and Grace, whose name includes that of his daughter, opened in March and is Guard's sixth res- taurant concept. He wanted the wine dis- play to be interactive, allowing servers to take guests inside to view the labels, and to be a place for wine tastings as well. The result of his dream is what Zagat calls a "glassed-in wine tower." The foor- to-ceiling display is positioned as guests enter the front door, setting the stage for a wine-enhanced dining experience. The wine tower employs racks that position the bottles so that diners can read their labels. Guests can also see through the racks to the other display walls behind. Sommelier Todd Rocchino, who manages Guard and Grace's wine program, also had a cus- tom stemware rack built into the wine display so that all tasting supplies are in the same convenient place. Private wine lockers are integrated as well for guests who choose to purchase and securely store their own special wines in the room. Following Guard's culinary style, Guard and Grace's menu features both global and local fare. He cut his fusion teeth with Roy Yamaguchi in Hawaii and his own "continental social food" features a blend of Hawaiian, pan-Asian and locally sourced products. This va- riety means a wide range of wines can pair with the menu items, hence the 4,000-bottle program. Spiaggia's 1,700-bottle wine room integrates strategically into the structure of the entryway. Diners and passersby see bottles placed horizontal- ly, three-deep, on foor-to-ceiling racks fanking the front door. (Photo by Gladones Photography) Guard and Grace, Denver At Guard and Grace servers can take guests inside the wine tower room to view the labels. The room also has space for wine tastings.

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