A few months ago I shared the finished pictures from Hank's Juicy Beef, a sandwich shop I designed in Tribeca. Today I wanted to give you a sneak peek into the design process with some dramatic before and after shots. When owner Henry Tibensky first reached out to me for help, he was struggling to come up with a design concept for his Chicago-style beef sandwich shop. The space was originally a Quiznos sub shop with a heinous orange, green, and red color scheme. It felt dark and dated, like the early aughts had vomited all over the walls. Hank wanted the space to feel hip and fresh, and reflect his love for his hometown of Chicago. I came up with a design concept that incorporated Hank's colorful personality while staying true to the building's classic Tribeca roots. Keep reading to learn more about the design process, and see the stunning before and after shots:
The original space felt dark and heavy with large swaths of red, green, purple, and orange on the walls. As much as I love color, this was just way too much. We decided to brighten up the space by painting the upper walls and ceiling white. This instantly brought new life to the room, and emphasized the high ceilings. Glossy black subway tile on the lower portion of the walls anchored the room, and gave the restaurant some hip, classic character. Pendant lights over the order counter brought three-dimensionality to the boxy space while a wood counter front and chocolate leather banquette added some warmth to balance the cool white walls.
While the original Quiznos shop was overloaded with logos and graphics, we decided a less is more approach would be more appropriate for the walls. A simple shelf along the entry wall displays Hank's signature giardiniera sauce available for purchase, and a striking portrait of Chicago legend Michael Jordan speaks for itself.
We replaced the bland laminate flooring with grey concrete to give the space a cool, industrial vibe. A bar counter in front of the window addes additional seating while American-made brass pendant lights from Schoolhouse Electric add a touch of shine and invite passerby inside.
The transformation of this space from an ugly Quiznos sub shop to a hip and classic Tribeca eatery takes a lot of work. Along with the help of contractor Lenny Hu and architect Chien Dao, the space came together beautifully. But there are always awkward stages in between. Check out a few of these construction shots showing the space as a work in progress: