Client: Crane Ramen - 252 B&B Ventures, Inc.
Location: Gainesville, florida, United States
Completion date: 2014
Artwork budget: $10,000
Louise Freshman Brown
This is a ramen noodle restaurant – the first venue for Chef Frederick Brown. It is a total of 1040 sq. ft. including back of the house. It seats 40 patrons. The menu is designed to provide classic ramen dishes served quickly with style. It is designed to fit into the urban landscape of a collage town while projecting an Asian attitude. Major design concerns were acoustic control and low maintenance. The majority of lighting is LED and dimmed. Materials include cold rolled steel, reclaimed wood, Corian and a custom mural.
Art was considered the key element of the design from the initial conception. We wanted to use it as a grounding focus in the small space. We were also using the scale of the piece as a strong branding element and to generate "buzz" about the restaurant. The original artwork, a collage, was photographed and transferred on to a type II vinyl. Artists were also commissioned to produce the block printed logo on suspended banners. The banners reference traditional Japanese ramen houses but also add the important acoustic element required.
After exploring many different options for the major art piece we came across an amazing collage by artist Louise Freshman Brown. The imagery was ideal because if referenced "street graffiti" , combined both warm and cool tones and was of a nature that it would enlarge to the scale we required without becoming too pixelated. As it turned out the real bonus is that the artist is the Chef/Owner's mother. The mural was printed and produced by Design Tex and installed by a wallcovering sub-contractor. The reclaimed wood accent wall was installed by the contractor who happens to be a wood worker as well.
I have know Fred Brown, the Chef/Owner, since he was a young boy. I watched him grow up and become a chef in New York then in Helsinki, Finland. As an artist as well as interior designer I took post graduate classes with Louise Freshman Brown, the commissioned artist, for about 13 years. For years and years I have referred to Fred as my brother and he always talked about doing a restaurant together. Now that this one is under our belt we are now searching for an additional site for the next one.