All original work © Jason W. Wong. Please ask for permission to reproduce any work.

All original work © Jason W. Wong. Please ask for permission to reproduce any work.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Just eat it! Eat it! If it's gettin' cold, reheat it!

I've been really busy lately with new Retrograde projects (including a nursery for a rockin' baby boy!) as well as work-work (a family room redecoration with a six-figure budget--great experience for dreaming!) and on top of all that, I've been asked to step in and help with some design/decoration for a new restaurant.

For those of you who don't know, I grew up in a bar/restaurant in the Central Valley. Pre-anti-smoking laws, it was an interesting place for a kid to hang out. Darting around the drunk patrons and playing hide-and-seek in the walk-in refrigerator, I'd imagine which walls I'd like to knock down and which light fixtures I'd put in if I had a say. Even as a kid, I'd imagine how the place could look better so I guess that's kind of when this whole interior design bug got planted. (For the record, it had a vague tropical/Hawaiian theme. I actually scored a black velvet painting of a naked Hawaiian woman as a memento when my father sold the place years ago. It's one of my kick-a** treasures!)

When this new restaurant opportunity came around, I jumped at the chance to help. I'd noticed so many new restaurants in the city sporting the same "design" elements: Edison bulbs, dark colors, blank walls, charcoal gray...so I decided to channel my seven year-old self and ask him what he'd like to see in a restaurant.

Bold graphics. A wild color. Something fun that'd make me smile. The Pizza Machine!

See, The Pizza Machine was a pizza joint by my old childhood home. Way up high, along this 30-foot wide wall (at least that's how big it seemed when I was a kid) there used to be this gigantic perpetual motion machine, a kind of Rube Goldberg contraption that they'd put in motion every hour or so. It made having pizza with the family an experience. To this day, I still think of that wonderful Pizza Machine whenever I order a pie, whether I'm at Pizzeria Delfina, Starbelly, or Marcello's.

I wanted to try and recreate some of that magic while decorating a gourmet restaurant that's dedicated to improving the community. Who knows--these rough concepts might never get developed or see the light of day. But let me know what you think. Would you want to eat at any of these places?

1 comment:

Larrys33 said...

I've always been drawn to big, sweeping, muralistic imagery in restaurant settings, rather than the "precious minimalism" of the last decade. Gives much more of a sense of community. Cool ideas, Jas.