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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F A L L 2 0 1 4 • 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 • 4 5 wanted America Eats to be refective of José's playful approach to food. He has this way of deconstructing food and then reconstructing it in a way that's artful, playful and somewhat surreal but at the same time creates a conversation so you feel like you're learning through the pro- cess. It's very engaging and exciting." Situated off the hotel's second-foor lobby, the restaurant's design coordi- nates with that space while still provid- ing a unique, stand-alone restaurant experience. "It's integrated into the ho- tel, and that's very intentional in terms of the design," Celano says. "We took inspiration from an existing staircase in the lobby when we developed the facade because we felt it needed to tie in and work well with the other architectural elements in the space. As people come down that staircase, they see the glass storefront and can look through to the back bar, the beautiful wine display and magnum-sized wine taps at the bar. They see all of the energy and activity." ThinkFoodGroup took over an existing restaurant space for America Eats Tavern. While its open kitchen worked well for the new concept — only minimal decor and equipment refreshes were necessary — the entire front of the house was gutted and remodeled. Amanda Pittarelli, the restaurant group's manager of development and design, notes that the biggest change was relocation of the bar from the back of the restaurant to the center. The bar was also signifcantly enlarged. "We wanted to bring action into the dining room and put that activity closer to the entrance where guests could see it from the lobby," she says.

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