Gi Paoletti-Designed Homage LTD Restaurant Celebrates Local Bay Area Farms and Craftsmanship
Similar to the popular three-year-old Homage restaurant just one-half mile away, the new café and bottle shop in San Francisco's Financial District blends fine dining with casual quick serve in its menu and ambiance.
By: Gi Paoletti Design Lab
Located at 214 California Street, Homage LTD builds upon the success of the original Homage restaurant which opened May 2016 in a 2,055-square-
Planned as a café and cozy bottle shop, the new 820-square-foot restaurant seats 38 patrons and is about half the size of the original which fronts an alleyway and seats 60 guests inside and out. "The goal of the restaurant's design was to be a continuation of Homage on Hardie Place with a similar look and feel in a smaller space," says Gi Paoletti, Principal of Gi Paoletti Design Lab.
Although the new cafe is not as large as the original, it is in a much more visible location providing high foot traffic from neighboring businesses during peak dining times. "With enhanced visibility, the new restaurant is expected to propel business at both locations," says Paoletti.
Another difference between Homage and Homage LTD is its serving hours, which are expanded to dinner at the California Street location. The Hardie Place locale is open for breakfast and lunch.
Simplicity, freshness and technique are the focus of Homage, giving staff the ability to expedite the demanding pace of a financial district lunch service with streamlined healthy and appetizing menu offerings. Similar to Homage, the new restaurant's seasonal menu features monthly rotating fare from Bay Area farms.
Paoletti designed unique shelving into both spaces to showcase wines and other items. The display area utilizes wood and metal in a pattern that acknowledges the restaurant's focal point—an oversized green pattern on the floor which Paoletti centered in each space.
"Homage is a culmination of my life's work. From growing up in the casual Midwest and working at top-tier fine dining institutions across the country, the restaurant blends these concepts beautifully,"
"In addition, I determined the key purveyors for my new restaurant concept would be the local Bay Area farms I had developed relationships with over the last 13 years. It was within these unique and fundamental relationships that the concept for Homage emerged, and the design Gi created thoughtfully and beautifully reflects my vision.
"Every month, our menu is crafted anew from the seasonal bounty harvested by one farm, ranging from the most beautiful orchards to row crop farmers, mushroom cultivators and seafood purveyors. Our entire team is excited for this second location, as we now have more buying power to support these incredible local resources, further strengthening our relationships and the community we've built around us."
Providing full-service exterior and interior design services, Paoletti's scope of work included the architectural layout for front and back of house; kitchen equipment layout; specification of furniture, finishes and lighting for the space; code and ADA compliance; construction and permit documents; and retrieving all necessary permits, including one for sidewalk seating. Paoletti also managed the project's construction administration and quality control.
"Being able to provide the architecture, interior design and decorating under one roof ensures that our projects will be as beautiful after they are built as we imagined them in our minds," says Paoletti.
The design of Homage LTD incorporates similar colors and features to the original restaurant which mirrors its fresh, local farm and crafts concept. Featuring comfortable décor with an industrial feel, the main interior design components at the first Homage on Hardie Place are primarily comprised of existing wood floors, exposed painted structural support beams and fans, and polished metal accents. To subtly reflect Bay Area farm-life, the space incorporates accents such as a rolling farm door and ladder, as well as black and white toile fabric bench-back seating cushions. Serving as a focal point, the redwood floors feature a soft green hand-painted geometric design created by Paoletti and painted by Chef Kurtz' mother.
"Since many of the building materials in the first restaurant were no longer available and to deliver added value, I found new and creative alternatives for Homage LTD," says Paoletti. "For example, to help with high traffic and maintenance, we took the green-painted pattern on the wood flooring that is the main focal point of the first Homage space and converted it to all tile for this space. To achieve a similar look and feel to the wood floor, I specified a wood-look tile with the green pattern in mosaic tile."
Paoletti designed Homage LTD beginning with a neutral palette which she then built upon with accents of green, blue, grey and black. "You never lose touch with the neutral palette as the overarching theme which provides a soothing and clean environment for the bustling restaurant crowd; however, the accents are what give Homage LTD it's unique feel," explains Paoletti. Starting with the over-sized green pattern welcoming guests into the space, your eyes are then drawn to the green/blue tiled and black stone ordering counter. The built-in wood seating has upholstered Clarence House fabric on the cushions in the Etro Guantan pattern, giving a welcoming feeling to the space, as does the Peter Fasano Cape Stripe drapery with the addition of a ruffle detail Paoletti added as a "homage" to the farmhouses providing ingredients to the kitchen.
What makes Homage LTD's design different from its sister restaurant is the high suspended ceilings. Paoletti took full advantage of the existing ceiling grid by adding Reflections, Torus 12-inch diameter indirect lights with a semi-translucent, geometric-patterned ceiling tile from Ceilume and installed LED lights above to give the space an overall glow.
Paoletti changed the exterior from a dark red, which made the facade recess into the building, to a rose gold metallic which enhances storefront visibility by bringing it forward. With the addition of new lighting and tile spelling out "Homage" in the entry, a strategically positioned neon sign in the upper interior entry area grabs the attention of passers-by who may be across the street while not detracting from the serenity of the space.
Design began on the project in July 2018, with construction spanning between November 2018 and June 2019. Zarc Construction was the project's general contractor.
About Gi Paoletti Design Lab
Founded by Gi Paoletti in 2007, Gi Paoletti Design Lab is a full-service interior architecture and design firm providing comprehensive design services from concept through construction completion. Known for mixing a high-level of design with exceptional knowledge in building codes and ADA guidelines, Gi leads her project teams through a unique collaborative process to achieve a greater vision in design. The San Francisco-based firm specializes in exclusive single and mixed-use development projects, including distinctive and eco-friendly hospitality (restaurant, bar, retail, resort) and corporate office designs. With all work personally produced by Gi Paoletti, the firm has over 27 years of domestic and international architecture, design and construction administration experience. Some of Paoletti's most recognized restaurant design achievements in San Francisco are Tipsy Pig, Bloodhound, Barrique, Maven, Per Diem, Noir Lounge, St. Vincent, Stock in Trade, Mr. Tipple's Recording Studio, Cadence, Homage, Scotland Yard and Sushirrito. Other notable projects are Sol Food La Bodega in San Rafael, Rootstock in Los Gatos and a 56-suite private resort in Marin. For more information, visit Gi Paoletti Design Lab's website here: https://www.gpdesignlab.com/