Monday, July 19, 2010


With the permits taking as long as they are, we have had extra time to embellish our store with awesomeness. Before we started this project, we knew that decor would play a huge part in our store experience. It would cost more, but we had our hearts set on a fun, hip, traditional, yet contemporary space. So we hired Brandon Graska, a young architect who is pursuing his masters at the Boston Architectural College and is currently working at Concise Design in Brookline. In addition to designing the store, he has been helping us frame Belgian comic strips and black and white photography (scenes of both Bruges and Boston, taken by photographers Michael Joseph and Andrew Ong, respectively) that will be featured on our walls.

Design, decor, and general atmosphere can really contribute to someone's dining experience...and in different ways. Let's look at some famous names: Starbucks, in their early years of expansion, made a point to retain the local, indie coffee shop feel of their original store by featuring photography from local artists, allowing local organizations to post flyers on a bulletin board, and even entertaining local bands to play live music (usually jazz and usually in their larger locations). McDonalds went the other way -- their shtick is fast and cheap and their interior reflects that philosophy to this day...nice, high quality fixtures and artwork do not further the low-cost corporate model.

For us it was simple. We, as diners, wanted to go somewhere that offered counter service. Somewhere that is inexpensive, but unique (not sandwiches or pizza) and offers high quality ingredients. In addition to that, we wanted a nice atmosphere that was inviting and even homey. Why was this so hard to find in downtown Boston?

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