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A new breadth for an old restaurant accustomed this Houston operation to essentially aggrandize its back- and front-of-house kitchens and abode greater accent on its carryout business.
Photo Courtesy of Tom Cook, C&T Architecture and Equipment Co., Inc.After 26 years auspiciously operating Carrabba’s in a breadth on Kirby Drive in an flush Houston residential area, Johnny Carrabba accomplished the architecture had outlived its usefulness. The ability had originally housed a Sizzler steakhouse restaurant, and afresh an developed bookstore, afore assuredly acceptable The Aboriginal Carrabba’s in 1986. As chump cartage increased, Carrabba connected to add on, eventually growing the restaurant to 11,000 aboveboard feet.
In 2008, Hurricane Ike acquired roof accident to the structure, which three years after led Carrabba to booty a bound of acceptance in the anatomy of breaking arena on a new restaurant aloof several anxiety from the aboriginal location, which became a parking lot. “The new architecture was complete anon adjoining to the old restaurant in adjustment to accumulate it in operation during this arduous process,” explains Michael Dreef, AIA, carnality admiral of Eubanks Group Architects.
The expressive, active Carrabba broadcast the admeasurement of the restaurant to 13,000 aboveboard feet. Named The Aboriginal Carrabba’s, the new enactment opened in November 2012 and includes a 4,500-square-foot back-of-house axial alertness kitchen, a 500-square-foot front-of-house bazaar kitchen, a 6,500-square-foot dining allowance basement 250 guests, and 500-square-foot bar.
The Aboriginal Carrabba’s and a adjacent sister restaurant, Rosie Carrabba’s, accept been ancestors businesses featuring a constant card of ancestors recipes aback their inception. Upon walking into The Aboriginal Carrabba’s, guests acquisition a warm, affable atmosphere. They can sit in the capital dining allowance and at bazaar kitchen counters breadth they are aural a few anxiety of comestible agents advancing the restaurant’s specialties. The bar additionally offers seating.
“We’re upbeat, not austere and stuffy,” Carrabba says. “The restaurant is fun to be in. We allure abounding barter from the bounded neighborhoods and apperceive abounding of them by name.”
“Our cold was to advance the all-embracing dining acquaintance for the assemblage who accept been adequate Carrabba’s for added than 26 years, while giving the new architecture a beginning and brighter look,” Dreef says. “Similar to the aboriginal layout, the new architecture appearance an accessible kitchen with a dining adverse — a accepted aspect with Carrabba’s regulars. And now the acutely positioned pizza oven is a focal point of the architecture and experience.”
Click to see the floorplanThe new restaurant maintains the aforementioned accepted blueprint and accord of the kitchen, bar and dining apartment as the aboriginal location. “At the aforementioned time we aloft the ceilings slightly, congenital abundant salvaged architectural antiques, replaced all tables and chairs, and provided new artwork and artifacts adapted for the new restaurant,” Dreef says. Forth with a warm, aloof palette, Dreef’s aggregation acclimated a decrepit copse wainscot to charm the amore that fabricated the old Carrabba’s was so popular.
For homesickness the architecture aggregation reused some of the ablaze accessories and artwork from the aboriginal architecture such as snapshots of ancestors matriarchs and photographs of Carrabba’s uncle authoritative sausage and accouchement arena in breadth breadth the ancestors grew attenuate herbs begin in arctic Italy. “A few of the old photos were absolute up on ample canvases and acclimated throughout the capital dining area,” says Camille Blanchet, autogenous artist with Eubanks Group Architects. “For example, the bells account of Johnny Carrabba’s parents resides abaft the hostess station.” In addition, new and old accurate Italian bowl plates adroitness the walls of the capital dining and arcade areas, and 14 custom adumbration boxes with hidden lights casting a soft, affecting afterglow from beneath ablaze arrange of old wine and albino accoutrement and paraphernalia.
Selecting finishes that aftermath a comfortable atmosphere after actualization institutional, designers defined ceramics asphalt floors, decrepit copse wainscots and granite abject boards in assertive areas. Hospitality-grade carpeting tiles can be switched out as bare after replacing the absolute floor.
A array of beam surfaces accomplish an acoustical antithesis adapted for a restaurant and advice accord to the space’s all-embracing ambiance. “We defined a aggregate of drywall beams and acoustical beam tiles in the capital dining allowance to abstain a ample amplitude of collapsed ceiling,” Dreef says. “This treatment, forth with the chaplet ablaze accessories that we reused from the old restaurant, provides movement in the beam while acclamation the important affair ofacoustical balance.”
Lighting throughout the restaurant factored into the design. “The burghal of Houston has austere rules with account to the Energy Conservation Code that was adopted in 2008, which was a agency in lighting design,” Dreef says. In adjustment to accommodated the requirements, designers defined a array of accessories and lamps including fluorescent, incandescent, LED and alike accustomed gas lanterns. Low-voltage incandescentaccent lights highlight the artwork.
“It is important for restaurant lighting to be balmy in adjustment for the aliment to attending appetizing, which is generally difficult to accomplish with LED and beaming lighting. So we had to await on filters and concealment breadth possible,” Dreef says. “Another application was to accumulate the lighting adjustable aback the tables are generally confused about to board beyond groups.”
The automatic concealment arrangement is addition affection that keeps the ablaze levels constant from day to day. “We additionally congenital automatic solar shades to acknowledge to the furnishings of the sun, abnormally on the west ancillary of the architecture which has lots of windows,” Dreef says.
The clandestine dining apartment affection alveolate ceilings with draped t that add a burst of blush and accompaniment the blow of the décor. In added genitalia of the restaurant, designers assorted beam shapes and heights to board beheld interest.
The restaurant can now board clandestine dining functions, which Dreef says was not applied in the past. “The above arcade dining apartment were broadcast and are now bigger chip with the capital dining room,” he says. “We additionally advised a new wine dining allowance that can be aloof for clandestine functions.”
The ambiance contributes to notable chump loyalty, says Carrabba. He adds that low agents about-face and bendability of the dining acquaintance additionally advice accomplish echo business. “Staff, abounding of whom accept been with me for abounding years, apperceive the barter and accord actual alone hospitality,” Carrabba says. “Customers apperceive the affection of aliment and that the chump acquaintance will be consistent. For example, barter apperceive they can appear in on any night and get items they adulation like craven soup fabricated from my grandmother’s recipe. They can additionally appear in on specific canicule and get a accurate account such as osso buco. We change the card abundant to add variety, but consistently accumulate favorites like the braised abbreviate ribs and blimp artichokes because that’s why they appear actuality afresh and again.”
The all-embracing architecture of the restaurant, from commitment to account to cleanup, follows a annular breeze pattern. “We don’t appetite agents to amend their steps, and we capital to annihilate possibilities of cross-contamination,” says Tom Cook of C&T Architecture and Equipment Co., which provided architecture casework for the new kitchen.
In the aback of the house, agents accept aliment deliveries six canicule a anniversary at the loading berth and abode aliment items in two applicant coolers and one two-door freezer. The applicant acknowledgment contains a bang alarming for bound cooling bottomward soups and sauces.
Other key appearance are windows that accompany accustomed ablaze into the kitchens and the aloft ceiling, which gives added space. Additional lighting brightens the workspaces.
In the basic area, agents accomplish soups, salads, sauces and bloom dressings application a aliment processor, can opener, two angle kettles and a four-burner range. The accomplished articles are placed in containers and broadcast to assorted basic stations as needed.
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