Bar Equipment, Design & Storage

FIVE MINUTES WITH: Chris Adams, Ellis Adams Group

Hooked at an early age by creative and entrepreneurial opportunities in the restaurant industry, Chris Adams parlayed a part-time summer job with the Ritz-Carlton Orlando into a career. 

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Building Products & Materials

Pulling together the kaleidoscopic range of materials and products with which to bring a particular restaurant concept to life is one of the great joys of the job for many designers, but it’s also a constant balancing act. The thrill of the hunt for materials that are on-trend, unique and aesthetically appropriate — and provide just the right wow-factor — can be quickly tempered by the cold, hard realities of budget, lead times, durability, sanitation and maintenance.

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Kitchens excluded, there may be no more hardworking area of a restaurant than its ceiling. Much of that has to do with what lies beyond: Ceilings often hide a chaotic, crammed-in collection of mission-critical mechanical and wiring systems. They anchor most of the lighting in a restaurant and strongly influence acoustics, effectively helping to soften a dining room’s din or, in many cases, adding to it when ceilings are high and finishes are hard.

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Doors, Windows & Walls

The doors and windows of a restaurant are the literal portals through which guests are transported into the experience offered within. For passersby, doors and windows have the power to beckon and create intrigue; to offer an external glimpse into a restaurant’s brand. For arriving guests, they extend the first hand of welcome, transitioning them from their day outside to the respite inside.

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FIVE MINUTES WITH: Dwayne MacEwen, DMAC Architecture P.C.

A former construction company owner who went on to become an architect, Dwayne MacEwen, AIA, founded DMAC Architecture P.C. in 1995. Based in the Chicago suburb of Evanston, Ill., the company specializes in designer-led fabrication of architectural and interior components, furniture, and lighting as well as graphics and brand identity work. For flooring, he’s a hardwoods loyalist at heart but admits to a recent crush on large-format tile.

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FIVE MINUTES WITH: Jeremy Levitt, Parts and Labor Design

When helping clients make furniture decisions, Jeremy Levitt and the team at Parts and Labor Design take a first-things-first approach. “Our process begins with a focus on operations and on creating a floor plan while simultaneously establishing a concept and our design approach for the space,” Levitt says. “This direction then holds true in the architecture, furniture and lighting. This starting point also dictates form and function.” From that point, Levitt says it comes down to wrestling with issues of custom versus off the shelf, which typically comes down to accepting budget realities.

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Current Issue

rd+d September/October Magazine Cover