Photos: Jaclyn Locke
Designing a restaurant is always special. In many cases the design process is under great pressure – financially, time- and expectation-wise. As a designer my job is to navigate between creating a space that is aesthetically pleasing yet functional, that is aligned with the owner's vision (at times even helping owners to create one) yet open to the interpretation by guests attending the restaurant. Through a thoughtful combination of patterns, colors, shapes, objects, textures, – carefully interwoven with the concept and each places' unique story – a restaurant can become so much more than just the next cool dinner spot. Those spaces can start a dialogue with their guests, collaboratively writing a new story. They surpass the physical limits of the space itself and live on in people's shared memories and stories.
To get the details right it requires being fully invested in the design process and in many cases that means being creatively occupied over weeks or months. That investment is why I am emotionally tied to these types of projects – way beyond the opening date. Part of embarking on that journey is also to understand that good design can only lay the fundament for a successful space but has to be followed by an even larger amount of work running it. It is with a heavy heart to witness a space with such great potential to go out of operation so quickly. An opportunity given away lightly.
So many so stories untold, so many questions unasked, memories never experienced – leaving behind just a few beautiful pictures of a furnished but somehow unfinished space.