By Jeremy Martin
We all know that designing and marketing a restaurant has never been a simple walk in the park. However, with today’s added emphasis on curated experiences and ‘intsagramability,’ it has become ever more crucial to not simply delivery a superior product. You must also do so in a setting and atmosphere that is every bit as unique and thoughtful as the dishes being served.
So, what can you do to take the guest experience from simply enjoyable to truly memorable? If you’re working within an open kitchen concept, powder coating your equipment may be the answer.
“I think more and more, eating out and dining out is becoming entertainment, and cooking is becoming part of that,” explains Jeremy Price Co-Owner of Sea Creatures, a Seattle based restaurant group. “(But often) “you’ve got all kinds of stainless and industrial equipment which can break with the style of the restaurant.”
The ‘style’ Price refers to isn’t just a neat sightline, or a basic visual aesthetic, as Sea Creatures and its ten projects can attest. The company offers guests a fully immersive design experience from the instant they approach the door to the moment they set foot back in their individual realities.
Walrus and Carpenter, a casual oyster bar in the old Ballard section of Seattle is a prime example. Nestled in the corner of a century old tool shop, where a set of nearly floor to ceiling French doors bathe diners in whatever glow Seattle’s often reluctant sun can muster. With an overall spartan interior, the decorative features that do exist, take on added visual magnitude against the faded white subway tile that lines the interior.
Oysters in bubbling broth are delivered to tables in powder blue cookware, a blue worktable sits coyly under baskets of fresh bread and seafood on ice, while the same powder blue is showcased on the restaurant’s logo; which has been stenciled upon the glass entryway and projected in reverse upon sunbeams that move patiently across the room.
All of which play a roll in imparting guests with a sense of old-world comfort and frivolity. However, its two pieces of Vulcan cooking equipment that truly tie the room together.
A V6B36S; V Series Heavy Duty Range and a VFRY18F; V Series Heavy Duty Range Match Fryer have been powder coated in the restaurant’s signature powder blue, becoming both a showpiece to those who understand kitchen equipment, and a wonderful design touch to those who are simply enjoying their meal.
Paired with a 36IRB; Salamander, the chefs at Walrus and Carpenter have a powerful, and highly attractive line to work from.
“You still need it to function as a kitchen, you still need people to move about and not get in each other’s way,” explains Rachel Smith, an interior designer with equipment dealer Bargreen Ellingson.
In the case of Walrus and Carpenter, where not only the kitchen but the prep area is fully visible, it became imperative to find equipment that could marry the look of the space with the durability and efficiency needed in a commercial kitchen. It wasn’t long before Price realized Vulcan powder coated equipment could easily tick both boxes.
“This makes it really harmonious,” Price mused. “Vulcan has allowed us to integrate a lot of (equipment) with the look of the rest of the restaurant and that’s pretty cool,”