Designing the Interior of Your Restaurant

It is best to engage an interior designer once you’ve settled on a space as buildouts can take months to complete. He or she will be able to tell you what is possible for the space after a walkthrough and a budget discussion. Like most good collaborators, look for a designer that will welcome open communication and dialogue along with experience working with restaurants and bars. It is important to be on the same page as your designer throughout the buildout. An interior designer should take a holistic approach to the décor of a restaurant. “When starting a project, I look at the food, the clientele, and the location for inspiration,” says Kevin Greenberg of Space Exploration. I’m responsible for creating the look and feel of the concept and making sure the interior spaces reflect the owner’s vision for the restaurant.”

The interior of a restaurant should convey the same story that your restaurant’s menu tells. “Restaurants offer people an escape from everyday life,”says Kevin. Our work is to provide them with a compelling environment.” As we’ve previously covered, your interior designer should work with your brand designer to make sure your aesthetics all work together to create a cohesive brand story.

Sometimes, the space’s natural quirks will impact design. Kevin recently worked on a project, Mathew’s in Jersey City, together with Drew Heffron. The design of Mathew’s was heavily influenced by the atmosphere of Charleston, South Carolina. During the planning stages of the interior, it was determined that an existing wall bisecting the dining room could not be removed. Instead of allowing the wall to awkwardly cut the space, Kevin’s design embraced the dividing element. The design uses the wall to create distinct dining areas, each with its own eclectic lighting, furniture, and wallpaper pattern, lending the space a warm, residential feel that complemented Mathew’s menu.

Your designer will work with your architect to draft construction plans for the space and help you find a general contractor who will provide an itemized quote of the buildout. He or she may also oversee the interior work alongside the general contractor to ensure that the execution matches the vision.


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 choosing a great designer, our team will act as your primary consultant to connect you to some of the best creative talent in the hospitality industry. Contact us at 212.346.0606 or info@alldayindustry.com.

To learn more about Kevin Greenberg of Space Exploration and Drew Heffron of Practical People, check out www.spaceexplorationdesign.com and www.practicalpeople.us.