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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4 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 • F A L L 2 0 1 4 The Market Room, with black-and-white marble foors and an exposed small cookline showing a wood-fred oven, charcuterie slicers and salumi cases, depicts the Italian infuences in Creole cuisine. All of the rooms, except for the courtyard, feature full A/V equipment. Tramonto and Folse's latest project, Seafood R'evolution, will open later this year in Ridgeland, Miss. The restaurant will offer four rooms for private groups located off the main, com- pletely open dining room with exposed kitchen. One room, the Chef's Offce, will offer a unique experience: Windows look out onto the main foor, and a table for 14 will be set in the same space where Folse and Tramonto work during the day — com- puters and all. One of the glass walls looks into the wine cellar, and pocket doors expand the space into another private dining area, the Oyster Room, for overfow. As at Restaurant R'evolution, each room will have full A/V equipment, fat-screens, computer hookups and Wi-Fi. "Some of our televisions are hooked up to cameras in the kitchen so you can zoom in and watch your fsh being cooked or salad prepared," adds Folse. PAUL MARTIN'S AMERICAN GRILL Newport Beach, Calif. The private dining options at Paul Fleming and Brian Bennett's casually upscale chain, with eight units throughout California and Arizona, vary from location to location based on space available and local diner needs. While the growth-oriented group shrank the footprint of its concept in the past couple years, most of the private spaces can still seat up to 90 or 100 people, says Tony Smith, president and partner. "The private dining options are very diverse," he says. "When we designed our spaces, we wanted them to be fex- ible to handle groups that wanted fne dining or a more casual luncheon or business meeting, whether that was inside, on the patio or in the lounge area." Designer Janet Hendricks made each unit's private dining spaces look slightly different. In one location, she worked with the restaurant's exposed brick, pairing brown leather padded tables and warm light fxtures to match the natural earth tones. In another, a long, white marble-topped table sits surrounded by dark wooden walls lined with wine bottles. At the El Segundo, Calif., location, a barn door was incorporated into the design for a homey feel. At the Scottsdale, Ariz., location, a "wine room" seats 10 to 14 amidst wine bottles for a more intimate, formal luncheon or dinner. Large plasma television screens built into the walls can connect to computers for presentations or to show sports, movies and more. Wi-Fi is also available throughout the restaurants, while sound systems are built specifcally for each individual room. "In the restaurant business you don't necessarily want to be everything for everyone, but private dining is a little differ- ent," says Smith. "Ten years ago private dining consisted pre- dominantly of dinners or some type of party or business event, but as food continues to be more of a focus in day-to-day life, the private dining sector has become a lot more diverse." Paul Martin's might accommodate a baby shower on the patio on the same day it might see 20 executives from a major company use the wine room for a special dinner. Because it's "always about the food," a mixture of warm lighting and overhead lamps highlights the dishes. Paul Martin's hires a special lighting designer for each restaurant because no private dining space is cookie cutter, Smith says. BLUE HILL AT STONE BARNS Pocantico Hills, N.Y. Blue Hill at Stone Barns takes farm-to-table dining one step further. Located at the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, a nonproft farm and education center that sup- plies the restaurant with some of its vegetables and fruits, pastured pork, chicken and more, Blue Hill at Stone Barns' dining spaces are designed specifcally to take in the farm's beautiful landscape. Umami Lab Takes Private Dining Casual Casualization of the restaurant industry is spilling over into the private dining niche as well, with casual and fast-casual operators tapping in. Case in point: Umami Burger, the fast-growing, better-burger chain with 24 locations throughout California, Nevada, New York and Chicago. The chain straddles the full-service and fast-casual segments with servers and swiftly made burgers in a casual setting. It now offers private dining at its newly renovated Umami Broadway location in Los Angeles. Dubbed Umami Lab, the private dining space there serves items from the regular menu as well as a separate, nonburger menu available only to those booking private events. The space's design helps create a multifunctional and easily manipulated area that can meet each client's request, according to Melissa Summers, event sales manager. "The room is a large, open space with vaulted ceilings, though it still feels intimate enough for 20 guests," she says. "With industrial ele- ments like reclaimed wood, exposed polished concrete and incandes- cent lighting, the room captures a modern feel while paying homage to Broadway's theaters of the 1920s." Umami Lab's furniture can be moved around to accommodate small business luncheons or larger cocktail receptions for up to 125 guests. Large windows bring in natural light during the day and showcase California's beautiful sunsets in the evening. A rotating, foor-to-ceiling display show- cases Umami's special wine collection for private events. Though Umami Lab does not feature specifc A/V capabilities, the restaurant has worked with an outside contractor to customize packages for clients with that need. Music and sound volume can be controlled independently from the main dining room.

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