Restaurant Development & Design

November-December 2015

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

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N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 5 • 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 • 8 7 creatively — were the starting points. Large, heavy wooden doors with decorative metal grate panels and heav- ily trimmed wooden frames create the entrance to the dining room. "They're 6 feet wide and 9½ feet high hinged market doors. When they pocket in, they look like wood paneling, but they can be closed to block off the dining room. When closed, you can see in through the metal grating, however, so there's still a visual connection," Morrison says. Those doors set the scale and tone for all of the other trim, bases, columns, wine cabinets and bars throughout the restaurant. "When you're sitting in the space, those are the elements that are in your feld of vision," Morrison notes. "Everything from about eight feet down is treated with woodwork, or a banquette against a wall, or a food station or wine display. From there and above, it's all just simple painted drywall leading up to 13-foot-high ceilings. Spanish architec- ture is very simple, with simple cut-out shapes, and there's always contrast between light and dark. The parts that are detailed are actually quite complex, but the complexity comes in relatively small areas that happen in these big, very simple surroundings." Wood species selected for the various custom fnishes throughout the restaurant include mahogany for the 34-foot main bar, stained maple for the recessed paneling on the columns and SPANISH-INSPIRED ESTRELLÓN SHINES BRIGHT First Challenge. When we walked into the space the frst time, it was just gravel and concrete pillars. I had a vision of dark mahogany wood and tile, but that's about all I knew about where I wanted it to go design- wise. Our frst big challenge was to fgure out how we were going to mask those ugly pillars, which are about every 20 or 30 feet and which we couldn't get rid of. Jacob had the idea to wrap them in wood and then create the spaces in between. He started by making sure he understood where the food was headed and doing a lot of research on Spanish architecture. It's nice to work with a designer whose vision for a project starts with the food. Acoustics. The acoustics are terrifc, especially for such a large space with high ceilings. This was the frst restaurant project we've done where we brought in an acoustics engineering frm to help us out. They were super helpful and really brilliant in recommending materi- als and strategies for sound absorption. That's something that often gets overlooked early in the design phase, but it's really important. We knew we wanted Estrellón to be a comfortable restaurant where people can come in, enjoy a glass of wine, share some good food and have great conversation. We didn't want it to sound like a hall. Open Kitchen. This is our fourth restaurant and our fourth kitchen, but our frst open kitchen. It was interesting to try to create an en- vironment where the kitchen is now part of the dining room. When you walk in, you get the warm glow of the kitchen and you can hear the staff at work — not loudly, but there's an energy — and engag- ing with the guests. For me, teaching my cooks and my service staff to work together and realize that now we're all entertaining the guests, we're all having people over every night, has been really fun. And from our end, it's cool to be able to show what we do. End Result. Spanish-style dining is casual and fun; there are lots of favors and things to try. We wanted to stay casual but also slightly upscale and distinctive for this area, which has a lot of college bars and fast-casual restaurants. I didn't think it would be quite so fancy when we started, but it's defnitely a beautiful space to work in, and our guests are really enjoying it. Owner Insights OWNER INSIGHTS: Tory Miller, Executive Chef Project Team Owners: Tory Miller, Dianne Christian- sen, Krys Wachoviack, Tracy Solverson Architect/Designer: Jacob Morrison, AIA General Contractor: Krupp General Contractors Mechanical & Plumbing: North American Mechanical Inc. (NAMI) Electrical: Faith Technologies Case Work: Wisconsin Built Acoustics: Acoustics By Design Kitchen Equipment: Kavanaugh Restaurant Supply

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