Wexler's

  • This restaurant occupies the interstitial space between a historic masonry façade and the 1980’s construction behind it on a narrow parcel in the heart of San Francisco’s financial district.  The client wanted to transform this dark and cavernous space into a modern setting that showcases his nouvelle barbeque cuisine.
     
    The focus of the design is a dynamic undulating ceiling installation that is evocative of smoke and charred wood and, upon leaving the restaurant full of barbequed delicacies, bones.  Though the installation is intensely figural and voluminous, it is actually composed entirely of flat laser cut MDF (wood composite) fins that simply and easily hook onto two laser cut steel rails that follow the curvature of the canopy.
     
    Originating from the rear of the dining space, the installation literally bridges the gap between old and new before billowing out the front entry to form an awning that delicately floats through the historic façade without touching it.
     
    Inside, a restrained palate of rift-sawn oak and zinc is warmed by the honey glow of the lighting.  These agrarian materials are treated with an uncharacteristic level of refinement analogous to that of the cuisine, but the neutral envelope allows the small plates of impeccably prepared food take center stage
  • Photography: Matthew Millman