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  • Type Renovation / Addition
  • Services Architecture, Interiors
  • Size 8,225 SF
  • Budget $2.2 Million

The Challenge

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. In more recent years, the old schoolhouse building had been utilized for different corporate or commercial uses. With outdated finishes, cubicles, and office partitions, the historic building needed to be opened and unveiled, both in layout and charter restoration.

Our Approach

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. Thus, the bar was placed central to the overall space where its metaphorical heart would live.

Design Solution

With the heart of the restaurant established, an axial space relationship was created. It required a disruption of traditional restaurant design where public and private spaces are more clearly divided was created. Customers move north to south from the entrance to the main dining area or bar and outside to additional seating. The layout blurs the lines of classic space planning and allows for the creation of the unique chef’s table, a space for 12 customers to dine in full view of the active kitchen.