Restaurant Development & Design

MAR-APR 2018.

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

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M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 1 8 • 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 • 6 1 FIREPOINT GRILL Comfortable, Modern Design on Fire PROJECT PROFILE BY DANA TANYERI G eorge Paxos, founder of multiconcept group Paxos Restaurants, has plenty of ex- perience with selling the sizzle. Each of his first four restaurants in Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley — three in Center Valley and one in Bethlehem — is highly regarded for both food and design. And each concept is distinct, from mod- ern Mexican at Torre to premium steak and seafood at Blue and Top Cut. Paxos' newest venture, however, delivers sizzle in its own unique ways. Opened December 2016, Firepoint Grill in Newton Square taps the primal allure and flavor of fire as the foundation for a stylish, modern American restaurant. Named for the temperature point that a flame must reach to maintain combus- tion, the concept celebrates fire from its featured open kitchen, where wood-fired cooking is the hero, to its design, which incorporates both overt and abstract references to fire throughout. Built from the ground up in a new, upscale retail village, Firepoint Grill is the fourth Paxos restaurant to be designed by New York-based Jeffrey Beers International (JBI). Paxos' charge to the team was to create "a very lively, chic, energetic, theatrical atmosphere that I could put an eclectic menu into," Paxos says. "I wanted open-fire, wood-fueled cooking to be the restaurant's heartbeat. We serve everything from very high-end, dry-aged prime steaks to gourmet burgers, pizza, wings and creative entree salads. I wanted casual and comfortable but a polished high-design take on casual." Channeling Frank Lloyd Wright The JBI team, which handled both the building and interior design, deliv- ered. Beers and lead designer Michael Pandolfi began concept development by channeling Frank Lloyd Wright, who made the fireplace and hearth central features of his residential designs. "Wright influences are significant," Pandolfi says. "We discussed some of his work with George when we were coming up with initial concepts, especially for the building and the exterior. He really liked the modern style with stacked hori- zontal planes. That's where we got some

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