Some people ask the secret of our long marriage. We take time to go to a restaurant two times a week. A little candlelight, dinner, soft music and dancing. She goes Tuesdays, I go Fridays. – Henny Youngman

Obviously to pull people in, restaurants need to have good food. They also need to have good reviews and good service to have those patrons keep coming back. But does the restaurant also need to have a good atmosphere? Can the atmosphere help over come any short falls with the food? Obviously, here at REspace, we think there is a subtle balance between the two. Kind of like a a good red wine with a superbly cooked rib-eye.

Restaurant Food vs Restaurant Design

When a patron first walks into your restaurant you want it to do one of two things: create a “wow” experience or blanket them with a warm welcoming feeling. Sure this can all start with a smile from your host or hostess, but you certainly don’t want your customer to second guess stepping into your place as they walk through the door. Good experiential architecture with a well thought out floor plan and tasteful application of style can help the flow and atmosphere of your restaurant. We have a few favorites that exemplify what we look for and design toward.

 Contemporary Industrial

One of our favorites in this area for restaurant architecture is the Schlafly Tap Room. Located on the outskirts of downtown, the interior hearkens back to the old industrial factory days. The design does a good job of incorporating exposed ductwork and piping through wide open spaces. Exposed wood ceilings, unfinished rough hewn columns and exposed metal bracketing converge to give the overall space a contemporary industrial feel typical of this successful style of adaptive re-use. Some designs go heavy on metal surfaces and sharp lines, but this can leave you feeling like you’re actually eating in a factory or warehouse, cold and sterile. Not so at Schlafly, the warmth spills out of the building through the expansive windows on each side as you can see before you ever enter. We truly enjoy the balanced composition of the original industrial elements paired with the tasteful contemporary furnishings and finishes…. and the beer of course!

Exterior view of the Schalfly Tap Room looking southwest  

Schlafly Taproom

Classic European Style with Eclectic Accents

Classic European style and great food is always a winner with first dates and romantic rendezvous. A place we love for their affair with tasteful architecture is Scape American Bistro, located in the heart of the Central West End. Scape’s interior let’s you know immediately that it is a fine dining establishment. Exquisite finishes, sharp corners, clean lines, reflective ceiling elements and the tasteful application of curves for the seating gives Scape a European flair without over doing it. Juxtaposed against all of this are the eclectic glass ornaments throughout, the centerpiece of which is “The Fountain” by Third Degree Glass Factory. It’s a sophisticated, unique yet timeless look that invites you in and makes sure that you will have lifelong memories. The best part of all is that the design truly shines without upstaging the food…which should tell you how good the food is. If you haven’t been we recommend getting this spot on your date night calendar asap.

  Image of a candlelit table to seat 10

Scape American Bistro, Chef’s Table

Contemporary Minimalist

What do you do when you want to create a hip vibe but don’t want to overstimulate your customer with needless interior clutter? You go with a contemporary minimalist approach, that’s what you do. ‘ZZA Pizza + Salad is located in the Central West End off of Euclid. The interior has clean, clear lines of sight with dashes of vibrant color to highlight the character and brand. Very high ceilings with indirect lighting give this small location an expansive feel.

  Interior view of Zza Pizza

‘ZZA Pizza & Salad

Don’t let us talk you into going back to that one place that served you the soup that was cold or the hamburger with the hair in it just to look at the architecture. What we do want you to do, as you dream of your new restaurant idea is think of this; all the detailed planning that goes into your food and menu can and should to go into the design of the space as well. Subtle annoyances such as being able to hear the table next to you or repeatedly having your dining expereince disturbed by the flow of traffic to the restroom can make your customer frown even though you’re making their stomach’s happy. Give us a ring when you are ready create your space.