Ralph Gentile Architects

Ralph Gentile Architects

Los Angeles


FEED Body & Soul opens in Venice, CA

By rgastudio
Feb 21, '13 8:04 PM EST

FEED Body & Soul, is the latest eatery to open on the famed Abbott Kinney Boulevard. Set to open for dinner on February 4th, FEED features organic and locally-sourced ingredients.

Acting as Architect of Record, Ralph Gentile Architects was selected by restaurant owner, DeAnna Staats of Staats & Co., to direct architectural design and coordinate interior design firm Platner & Co. “This project presented significant challenges,” stated principal Ralph Gentile, “we had to coordinate essentially two lots, with two separate buildings.” Careful planning still necessitated separate submittals of both buildings for approval by city departments as well as a redesign of the building’s structural framework.

The new 2700 SF restaurant combined two former retail spaces, J’s Kitchen and Ten Women gallery, an artist co-op. To create a seamless interior, the existing slab of both spaces was demolished and rebuilt, and a new interior ramp built to meet ADA codes. The already small interior was carefully planned to incorporate the center bar, table and banquette seating, and the prep and cookline areas.

“FEED Body + Soul maintains the former charm of the original building façade, but the new steel windows and inviting entry completely re-envision the exterior, giving it a fresh and modern appeal,” said Gentile. The façade features a new black fabric awning system and bronze carriage-style sconces along both streets, providing much needed illumination along pedestrian thoroughfares. A series of divided-light windows bring in abundant light and provide a view to the street life outside.

The interiors feature rustic walnut-stained wood floors, a white open truss ceiling system, brilliant round crystal pendants and hand-blown glass and bronze wall sconces. Illuminated by lead crystal “bubble” chandeliers, a curved tufted brown leather booth and a creamy marble counter with black leather upholstered stools provide seating options near the front windows. Along the back wall, is another tufted banquette with several tables for two. Custom stained and painted wood millwork dominate one wall, featuring a take-out selection of items and coffee to go.

The anchor and focal point of the space, is the eighteen-seat stained wood center bar with a white Italian marble top, positioned below a new oversized skylight and a steel beam. High-back wood barstools upholstered in brown leather and pale linen are perfect for perching and people watching throughout the entire restaurant. Pale Venetian plaster walls feature original hand painted artwork by Los Angeles street and sticker artist, CRYPTIK. An open kitchen concept with gleaming stainless steel hoods and equipment and provides diners a view the action behind the scenes.

The new interior ramp allows approved access to the patio, situated between the main building fronting Abbott Kinney, and the smaller rear building which houses the back-of house operations, storage and new ADA-accessible restrooms.

Meant to be a secluded environment, the new patio features rustic stone flooring, a living green wall with a sprinkling of mini round sconces, banquette and communal table seating, and direct access to the redesigned parking lot. A retractable awning above adds shade on sunny days, while light strings crisscrossing the space add additional ambiance. Wall-mounted heaters add comfort when temperatures dip. A custom-designed decorative metal gate system provides additional security and seclusion. New landscaping provides fresh greenery to both the façade and the patio areas.

The updated restrooms include new TOTO fixtures, tiled walls, white marble vanities, and glass bell-shaped lighting fixtures.

An innovative union of two spaces, FEED Body & Soul presents a bold yet inviting space offering a healthy menu to eager diners of this popular Venice neighborhood.

Design Team: Ralph Gentile, Candice Goodwin, Michelle Aitala, Sergio Osorio, Catia Sander, and
Kristin Carlblom.