An architect will make sure you design a space that is set up for success

When opening a restaurant, a restaurateur will quickly realize that a team of experts are needed to create a successful concept. One of the most important hires is an architect who will not only help design your space, but make sure your establishment is compliant with all the necessary building codes and regulations.

John Bedard, Junior Partner and architect at Kushner Studios, recommends engaging an architect as early in your development as possible. An architecture firm will help prospective lease signers conduct due diligence on potential properties. “The worst case scenario is finding out, after signing a lease that the space can never be used for a restaurant,” says John. “A quick search can avoid that.” Your architect will most likely review the building’s Certificate of Occupancy (CO) for a better understanding of the building’s allowed uses. Buildings built before 1938 with no serious modifications may not have a Certificate of Occupancy so owners may request a Letter of No Objection (LNO) from the NYC Department of Buildings. According to NYC’s Department of Buildings, “An LNO may be issued if the proposed or actual use of the building complies with New York City Building Codes and Zoning Resolutions, and the occupancy load and exits of the building are unchanged.” A proper LNO or CO is needed to be issued a liquor license in New York.

All is not lost if a building’s current Certificate of Occupancy needs to be modified. Your architect can file the proper paperwork to amend the use of a space with NYC’s Department of Buildings. The Certificate of Occupancy may need to be amended to include spaces not initially covered in the original certificate, like a backyard space that will be used for additional seating. Your architect will review the space and permits before a lease signing, giving you the best understanding of the opportunities and restrictions of your restaurant.

In addition to permits, an architect will be able to design the buildout of your space to match the needs of your concept. Your architect will document the existing conditions of the space and then create the future design. This includes everything from the kitchen’s location and necessary utility hookups, the proper entrances and exits, and the location of the grease trap. AllDay then recommends hiring a brand designer to help you develop your brand identity and the ambiance of your space. An architect should work in conjunction with the designer to develop the layout of the space but will focus more on the structural and regulatory aspects of the design, while the designer will be more involved with the look and feel. Your architecture firm will create all the necessary documentation for the buildout of your space. Once the plans are signed off, the project can be managed by your general contractor.

AllDay Industry has the experience and the network to help you develop your concept from any stage of development. From finding the perfect space, hiring the right executive chef, or developing architectural plans, our team will act as your primary consultant to connect you to some of the best talent in the hospitality industry. Contact us at 212.346.0606 or

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