DESIGNING YOUR DREAM RESTAURANT
Andrew Edwards, President & Owner of Extron Electronics in Anaheim, CA, dreamt of building his own restaurant and saloon, complete with Western dancing, on the bottom floor of his office building.
Being a savvy businessman accustomed to building powerful brands and strong teams to sell AV products, he knew that creating his dream restaurant involved great food, wine and service, but first, it meant finding the right designers to make his vision a reality.
DESIGNING 101: MEN vs. WOMEN
If men are from Mars and women are from Venus, it would explain why they look at design so differently. While there are some exceptions, for the most part, men look at the big picture (macro) and women really focus on the details (micro).
With women making more than 80% of dining decisions, you can see why the details are so important, especially for such a large restaurant, wine cellar and saloon like Edwards' The Ranch Restaurant & Saloon - it's 20,000 square feet!
Here I am with The Ranch's designers, Christine and Jerry vanRooy, who are standing with me in front of a wall of vintage belts in the entryway of the restaurant! VANROOY designs hand-sourced these from a local artisan in Marina Del Rey, CA called Ting London – the belts are collected from locations throughout the Southern US. This wall is the first thing I saw when I walked in the door and this one detail just created a WOW first impression! This set the tone for me and I knew that I was witnessing the work of pros!
Remember, success is in the details and packaging is everything!
(Photo from The Ranch website)
DESIGNING FOR SIGHT + SOUND
When you walk into The Ranch, you are welcomed and surprised. The restaurant unfolds before your eyes as it exceeds your expectations and sets the stage for excellence to come -- from the food, wine and service.
I was immediately excited and that feeling only increased with every minute I spent in the restaurant. So many elements piqued my curiosity, but I was so taken with how such a grand undertaking could be so warm and comfortable.
With so many design elements working hand-in-hand, two stuck out in my mind as the most important: lighting and acoustics.
Lighting - let me begin by saying that the lighting at The Ranch makes every aspect of the restaurant comfortable. Each table is well lit and each room has its own feeling. The lighting acheives a sweet spot where the food and guests are highlighted and have a natural glow, without shadows, harshness or glare.
Acoustics - all the walls are acoustically treated to help with sound absorption to allow for a better dining experience. The vanRooys utilized black fabric on the walls, in addition to focusing on sound-absorbing materials like leather chairs handmade in Turkey, leather cowboy ottomans handcrafted by artisans in a small village of Chili, and leather sofas from Hancock and Moore in North Carolina.
(Photo from Orange Coast Magazine)
COMFORT FOOD WITH A SIDE OF CLASS
With such a grand setting in place, Andrew Edwards' dream and VANROOY design's implementation set the bar high for the food, wine and service. We all know that if the food isn't good, a restaurant will not thrive - no matter how beautiful it is.
The Ranch tapped one of the best Southern California chefs to present their menu of elevated American cuisine. Chef Micheal Rossi is able to present Kobe beef carpaccio with truffles and spare ribs on the same menu, both executed perfectly.
His brother, Pastry Chef David Rossi, also WOWs us with innovative desserts. His Buttered Popcorn Ice Cream has gone viral for creating a Willy Wonka moment!
Both Chef-brothers also give back to the community - this September 27th, both will donate their time and expertise to the March of Dimes Signature Chefs Fundraiser and Auction.
(Photo from the LA Times blogs)
THE MAN IN THE CELLAR
With decor, service and food in place, we can't forget the wine! The Ranch's extensive wine list and beautiful cellar is overseen by Michael Jordan, member of the Court of Master Sommeliers. There are only 118 professionals who have earned this title in North America (and only 186 professionals worldwide).
The level of experience and knowledge is simply mind-blowing, but expected to complement all aspects of the restaurant. Even non-wine enthusiasts can appreciate this attention to detail.