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 5 The brick wall also serves to add color and graphic interest to the other- wise largely muted interior. "We took the Firepoint logo and abstracted it and gave it a kind of weathered look," Pandolfi says. "The numbers in the painting are the longitude and latitude of the restau- rant's location. The owner may expand the Firepoint brand in the future, and the idea was that each additional unit would have its local latitude and longi- tude incorporated in a similar way." To maximize comfort, the major- ity of the restaurant's seating is soft, leather-lined booths. A row of large, U-shaped booths sits along the painted brick wall and is slightly raised to ensure unobstructed views of the dining room. Moving inward toward the bar is a double row of booths separated by a half wall and a central grouping of freestanding tables. A long, bar-height banquette and communal table help to define the main room on the opposite side of the bar. Beyond the banquette, separated by a copper mesh curtain, is additional dining space, and beyond the com- munal table, behind iron-framed glass walls, is a private dining room. "The dropped ceiling in the extra dining area is lined in a beautiful copper mesh, and we also used a copper mesh curtain wall that can be opened or shut to provide a little more privacy in that area," Paxos says. "We actually now just keep it closed because it works so well to give a bit of separation while still letting the energy of the main part of the restau- rant come through." The restaurant's glass-walled private dining room seats up to 14 guests. Abstract interpretations of fire come into play here as well. "We incorporated shelves into the iron framework of the walls, and they hold different-colored glass objects," Pandolfi says. "The colors of those ob- jects are colors that you see in flames — blue at the base, then reds and oranges and white on top — and they're arranged accordingly. It's pretty abstract, but it was all done around the concept of fire and the shape of a flame." Additional glasswork in the restau- rant, including the feature chandelier in the private dining room and colored glass pendants in the secondary dining room, subtly evoke the fire element as well. "Jeffrey is a glass blower and works with a group in New York called UrbanGlass. All of the glass fixtures at Firepoint Grill are hand-blown, which is an artistic pro- cess that involves fire," Pandolfi says. Now open just over a year, the restaurant is all Paxos hoped for and more. "Creating the right atmosphere was so important in order to be able to pull off my vision for Firepoint," he says. "Getting the right mix of sophistication, high energy, upscale and casual isn't easy, but I'm really happy with the end result. And business is good. I definitely created this concept with the idea that I would do more, that it would be the kind of comfortable, neighborhood destination that every city needs. It caters to every dining occasion and does so in a beauti- ful, warm and inviting atmosphere." + Snapshot Ownership: Paxos Restaurants, Allentown, Pa. Location: Newtown Square, Pa. Opened: December 2016 Concept: Polished casual, American with international influences Project type: New build Size: Dining and bar, 5,460 square feet; kitchen, 2,500 square feet; patio, 2,600 square feet. Seating: 250 dining and bar, 130 patio Project duration: 1 year from initial design concept Design highlights: Exterior facade slate wall with double-sided fireplace to patio, open kitchen showcasing wood- fired cooking, large bars, hand-blown glass, custom lighting, hand-painted accent tiles, wood beam ceilings, copper mesh curtains, ironwork, painted brick feature wall Shelves lining the glass-enclosed private dining room hold colored glass objects arranged as abstract repre- sentations of the colors and shape of flames.

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