It has been over a year since I last posted anything, because I had a bit of a gear switch in my focus. In February 2009, my friend Sheila Guzman, chef and restaurant owner, decided to close down her little lunch cafe and start a transformation. She enlisted my help, and together we spent a month redesigning the space and menus. Working within a tight budget, we also built all the new furnishings and design elements ourselves.
The restaurant opened in March 2009, and we've been enjoying a surprise cult success and devote following of local patrons along with a few tourists that happen upon us. The place is so small (six tables and six seats at the bar), and we often have a line out the door.
I posted a few images. Disclaimer.... I'm not good at photographing rooms!!
Here's HIRO HOBO......
The sake bar. I was lucky to gain some sake experience while living in Portland, Oregon, and then broadened my knowledge base for this endeavor. The restaurant is based off the Japanese Izakaya style, which places an emphasis on drinking with your meal. Turns out, drinking makes food more fun.
Other than the seating at the bar, we also built this raised platform with traditional style seating.
You might notice the bandanna/handkerchiefs that are used as napkins. It's Taos, New Mexico.... you gotta have a bit of cowboy in there! Oh, and those photographs in the background are the work of Zoe Zimmerman.
Back toward the exposed kitchen. People love watching Sheila cook. I think there should be an admission charge.
In the tiny sun room. The chairs and their upholstery were something already in place and an element that we had to work with. It's interesting how limitations can actually contribute to the originality of a place. The bright blue ended up making the space feel more playful and funky.
This was my personal favorite shining accomplishment. The final design was achieved by hashing around my initial ideas with my friend Anne Bujold when she came to visit. Then, the finer details were tweaked with Sheila's help.
This is the display of all the sakes we carry. It's comprised of empty bottles hanging from brass chain under an illuminated panel. The really cool thing about it is that the bottles are also arranged from right to left in accordance to their dryness or sweetness, and up and down in relation to their quality/price. It's a great visual reference for the printed sake list!
All designs copyright Outlaws&Heroes LLC, Sheila Guzman, Julie Lake.
Now I have to get back into the swing of making some of my own work!
Recently listed for sale here and here, the Tensegrity Necklace.