Restaurant Development & Design

January-February 2017

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

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J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 7 • 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 • 1 7 Trust TriMark To Deliver. We're the industry's largest provider of foodservice equipment, supplies and design services with over 8,000 SKUs in stock at our 20 distribution centers. Equipment Supplies Tabletop Disposables Chemicals Janitorials Furnishings Fabrication Millwork Design We're ready to help you with great advice and great products. Visit for more information. Indeed, every customer in the dining room, bar and retail space — or even passersby outside — can view the distillery in action. "You can watch your booze being made while you sip a drink at the bar — that's a unique experi- ence," notes the designer. Throughout the design, there are subtle nods to distilling. The mixed copper and stain- less steel construction of the still is re- flected in the use of mixed metals and mixed materials in the bar, the over-bar racks and foot rails. District Distilling is situated in a series of row houses. The intact exterior gives the location a homey, residential feeling, says Dwight. For the interior, big sections of the walls were knocked down to create bigger rooms and con- nect the spaces; the walls and ceilings were stripped of drywall to expose the structure. Reclaimed elements were used throughout, such as wood sal- vaged from joists. "We let the old row houses shine; each of the interiors is individual, whether we wanted it to be or not. So we decided to embrace that." A quirky mix of lighting adds intimacy in various areas. The space is 7,800 square feet. From the entrance on the ground floor, the distillery is on the right, with the retail component on the left, including a tasting room and space for parties and private tastings. The retail shop is accessible by a separate entrance from the street and is also connected to the interior. "They are doing a robust retail business in addition to the restaurant," says Dwight. On the second floor, the bar is directly over the distillery, and the din- ing room and kitchen wrap around. The dining room seats 115; the bar 55. "There is a restaurant boom going on nationally, and craft distilling is a huge trend," Dwight says. Synergy be- tween the two concepts can be strong. There is, he admits, a much higher outlay for the hybrid than just opening a restaurant or setting up a distillery. "But in this case, I think the sum is greater than its parts." Lula Restaurant Distillery New Orleans Perhaps the biggest of the many hurdles co-owner Jess Bourgeois faced in open- ing Lula was getting legislation passed to allow his concept to exist. "One might think that New Orleans and the State of Louisiana would be lax in their liquor laws, but we quickly learned that the reality is the contrary," says Bourgeois, who worked with a representative to pass House Bill 233 to be able to open the state's first restaurant-distillery. With years of experience working in high-volume restaurants, Bourgeois also noted the rise of craft distilling and had a dream of producing spirits from Louisiana sugarcane. So he and co-owner Bear Caffery combined the two ideas under one roof. Manufactur- ing the custom-designed equipment — two fermenters, a 450-liter pot still, two sequential 10-plate columns and a condenser that flows into three separate fractioning tanks — required a full year to complete. Photo courtesy of GrizForm Design Architects

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