The site is bounded on two sides by a high density government housing project on Mermaid Avenue, one block from Surf Avenue, the main street of historic Coney Island, And just blocks from the Stillwell Avenue transit hub. The owner provided Israeli and Middle Eastern Cuisine, with American and other influences on a take-out only basis. With an existing site as well placed as this one the restaurant had to serve a large volume of customers quickly, with two to four workers.
Two service and prep areas were established with all cooking left on display to distinguish this restaurant from the large number of fast food type setups in the neighborhood. All of the transaction counters are above four foot glass display cabinets, refrigerators and pastry warming cabinets to allow open friendly interaction while preventing some of the neighborhood's rougher elements to disrupt business. Public standing areas are kept minimal to prevent a large crowd from gathering. A small gathering space at the rear with a coffee station allow people to wait for longer food orders and interact.
The back half of the restaurant is storage, preparation and clean-up, with saloon style slatted doors to provide both a place for the staff, and hide the back-of-house ares. A sense of drama is created when fresh meats and vegetables are supplied to the counters with some flourish through the saloon doors.
The restaurant owner's family and close friends acted as contractor and supplier for all aspects of the job. Construction crew was added early to the design team and suppliers brought on board. All mechanical systems and plumbing were designed and filed by me, then fine tuned by the construction crews. All equipment was chosen beforehand by the team allowing the spaces to be fine tuned to an amazing degree. During construction the owner, the family, and the whole team were involved in every aspect of the build and had a say in the design making for a unique experience.
Location: Coney Island, NY, US
My Role: From initial client interviews through design, filing CD and Construction Administration and post occupancy.
Additional Credits: Abraham Restaurant Supply, Mike and the entire Soliman Family.