SPACE – Architects, Designers + Builders
October 2022 https://spacestl.com/
On just about every level, Faye is a testament to love and tenacity.
Faye’s owner approached us in 2016 about converting a property into a restaurant and food production facility. We knew how much this project meant to the whole family, as well as how much was already on their plate. We had to make this dream into a reality no matter what.
SPACE broke the undertaking into three interconnected projects: 1) secure the shell of the building for structural integrity, 2) design the factory and production facility up to USDA standards, and 3) design the cafe.
For years, the building (a former car dealership back in the day) had been used to store barbecue equipment from another family business, but otherwise the structure hadn’t been given much attention. It was in dire need of some TLC before it could even think of becoming something. SPACE secured the building’s structural and envelope work and set our sights on building the factory inside it.
The layout was largely determined by the bottling equipment specifications, but we were able to make some interventions in the shell of the building to improve flow and use of space. Since it was going to be used to produce proprietary sauces and spice blends, but also production and bottling of white labeled recipes for other companies, everything had to be up to the highest USDA environmental requirements. We wanted happy employees and happy code inspectors.
Finally, we could look to the cafe space, where creativity and identity could really shine. The client asked for a bright and cheerful space that felt entirely unique from the family’s other restaurant properties: no barbecue, no barn wood, and added femininity! Oh, and add a drive-through window, too.
We took visual inspiration from some of the iconic cars that could have graced the showroom floor in their day. While not falling into the cliches of retro diner design, we opted instead to borrow color and material schemes from those bold and beautiful land boats (like the Edsel) and interpret them in a way that felt fresh, comfortable, and approachable. It needed a rainbow of colors paired in striking combinations. We leaned into the bright coral and rich burgundy, adding pops of white oak and chrome. We even sourced a fabric for the counter stools that is very similar to the plaid used in the original cars. Many of the interior components, like the nesting tables and the full-height wall display, were custom fabrications from our incredible in-house team. The end result was sunny, vibrant, and airy, like the open road on a perfect day for a drive.
Right up until the end of construction, the space and the brand remained nameless. Finally, the client landed on the name: Faye. A tribute to the strong women in our client’s life, Faye was the client’s late grandmother and also the woman for whom her own daughter was named. It ended up being the perfect name for a project that was so full of love and dedication.