Notch Modern Kitchen & Bar

Notch Modern Kitchen & Bar

Allentown, PA

Just beyond the boundary of a suburban stronghold and nestled along the old Hamilton Boulevard sits Notch Modern Kitchen & Bar, an adaptive reuse project that introduces an upscale eatery to a one-room schoolhouse. As the backdrop for cuisine that blends American style with global influences, the schoolhouse presented a challenge in layout. The historic use was built much in the style of the homes of the day with a large central hearth as its heart. In the modern interpretation of an upscale restaurant, the heart of the space is the bustling bar area where conversation and activity move in steady rhythm.

Jeff Virojanapa
Square Footage
8,225 SF
Steve Wolfe

A new front porch introduced outdoor seating and better defined the front face of the building, with a stone base and stone columns serving as a better compliment to brick. Dignified dark blue signage with backlighting is eye-catching to passing motorists, and the building gives off a warm and welcoming glow. In the rear, white picket fencing was removed, and a more restaurant-friendly entry was erected. Brick materiality is continued along this edge to give the parking lot entrance a cohesive flow. New light fixtures that cast light up and down better illuminate the path from parking to dining.

Touches of De Stijl art allusions float through the space and are particularly prevalent in casework that displays artifacts from the owner’s private collection among bursts of deep mauve, marigold and royal blue which mimic the Style’s red, yellow and blue primary planes. Notch further melds modernity with the historic vernacular through material and color. Interpretations of the theme are carried upstairs in accents like the original brick walls that bookend rooms and glazed sliding dividers. Muted tones provide for a sophisticated atmosphere that ties brick, wood and glass.