Best Full-Service Restaurant Design (Check Average $50+)

Winner: Fogo de Chão, Paramus, N.J. 

Operator: Fogo de Chão, Dallas
Architect of Record and Interior Design: Harrison, Dallas
Contractor: ADI Construction, North Springfield, Va. 

Harrison was tasked with converting a former bar-themed restaurant into a fine-dining experience for Fogo de Chão. It had to represent the chain’s design pillars — warm, timeless and approachable — while also incorporating signatures such as the churrasco grill, market table, bar, dry-aged meat display and two private dining rooms. The design team had to maintain the existing two-story structure and volume and integrate the front and the interior patio with the existing structure of the shopping center building. 

The result is a complete transformation. On the exterior, porcelain tile with a marble-like appearance frames the brand along with vertical slats of wood siding. The black frame storefront windows reveal the warmth of the dining and upper bar level. 

Flickering flames greet guests as they enter through a portal of wood columns and beams. The interior perfectly captures the brand’s desired effect. The judges felt the transformation was “truly incredible” as it “captured the concept idea as you enter, which is especially hard to do as you repurpose a space.” Overall, it felt “very warm, fresh and current.” 

Images courtesy of Richard Cadan

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