And you thought the food was excellent. But could it be that the beautiful interior design subtly enhances your palate? Energizes your conversation? Makes you tingle a bit? Two stunningly beautiful new restaurants show why dining is more than eating.
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“The challenge was learning how people here operate,” says Danner. “I just came to watch. I saw how the staff moved, how the pizza was made, how guests move.” By learning such things, he was able to manipulate movement and behavior to set a distinct mood.
One of LeRoy’s concerns was making guests comfortable while they waited for tables. By fashioning a large ottoman of cushions layered atop an old, refinished bed frame, Danner created a sense of belonging for diners.
Danner also considered a guest’s emotional well-being when deciding where to put the wait stand. Sound crazy? It’s not.
“The placement is actually important,” Danner says. When guests who want to sit at the bar enter, they can feel awkward walking through the dining room to get there. To create an invisible boundary that cuts patron unease, Danner designed a narrow center lane from the entrance. It’s flanked by sofas and the bar. The wait stand clearly defines where the bar ends and the restaurant begins.
Atmosphere was important to LeRoy. She wanted to create a feeling of privacy. In a wide-open airy space of 9,800 square feet, that wouldn’t be easy. Yet with the aid of pop-art portraits of Elizabeths on oversized, rolling canvas structures, Danner closed the spaces between the tall columns to section off an area where diners feel a more intimate, emotional connection with the setting and their companions.
“People feel at home here,” Danner says. “A little girl told her dad she wanted her bedroom to look just like Pizza by Elizabeths. That says we did something right.”
Page 4: Eminently Tasteful, continues...