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Heart of the House: Restaurant Design

November 26, 2013

By: Todd Taylor, Senior Director of Design, Darden Restaurants

Heart of the House: Restaurant Design

The V Lounge of Eddie V’s Prime Seafood in Orlando, Florida.

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I oversee a team of designers who create the ambiance for each of our restaurant concepts. We are responsible for making sure each new restaurant lives up to the look and feel that the restaurant is supposed to convey, while still allowing employees in the restaurants to serve you as efficiently as possible. I have teams that work on each of our restaurant brands, and my team dedicated to the design of Eddie V’s Prime Seafood has been very busy lately with back-to-back restaurant openings.

We just had the grand opening of our Orlando, Florida, location. It’s the first Eddie V’s in Orlando and only the second in Florida. The design of all Eddie V’s restaurants is intended to be timeless. This location is no different with its prominent oval-shaped bar, piano lounge, level changes throughout the floor plan, and Speakeasy Room.

Even though the refined atmosphere is consistent across all Eddie V’s restaurants, we still have to create unique designs that are specific to each restaurant’s distinct space. In Orlando, we designed the oyster bar adjacent to the open kitchen and near the restaurant lobby and bar. The freestanding hostess stand is a stacked glass art piece that welcomes you into the lobby and sets the tone for the custom glasswork found throughout the restaurant, even in the bathrooms. Other unique features include a walk-through wine cellar and an outdoor patio area that is lined on one end with a foliage-covered “living” wall and opens up to a spanning lake view.

The entire space was designed to break down barriers between the outdoors and indoors and to give the feeling of openness while still maintaining a level of sophistication. Sheer curtains were used to allow natural light in. Areas of the restaurant can be compartmentalized for private dining, or walls can be moved. Even the walls between the dining room and the outdoor patio can be opened up to truly create a seamless transition from inside to outside.

We are very proud of the end product of the Eddie V’s in Orlando, but we don’t have time to pause and admire our work. We’re under construction with new Eddie V’s restaurants in Chicago and San Diego, and we’re in the design stage of even more restaurants around the country. Next time you’re at Eddie V’s, or any of Darden’s restaurants, be sure to take in your surroundings while enjoying into your meal.

To see more about how our Orlando Eddie V’s restaurant team geared up for the grand opening, check out this behind-the-scenes video.

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