Aria Group Helps Bring U.K. Concepts to Washington, D.C.

11/12/10 at 11:52 AM
For many U.K. restaurant concepts interested in overseas expansion, the United States is a logical choice. Washington, D.C., our nation's capitol,  seems to be a welcome point of entry for such concepts. Nando's Peri-Peri and Ping Pong Dim Sum in conjunction with Fran McDonald of KMH Partners, LLC., selected Aria Group to work with them in their efforts to expand in the U.S. market. Below is a quick look at each of the Nando's and Ping Pong Dim Sum projects Aria Group has completed to date:
 
 
Nando's Silver Springs, MD • Photography: Anthony Gomez • Click here for more photos
 
Nando's in Silver Springs is the fourth  and most recent U.S. location and Aria Group's second complete design project for the client. As in the Annapolis location, artifacts essential to Nando's branding are brought in from overseas. To make the location unique a textured panel wall was installed and covered with a plaster finish lit by LED cove lights that wash up the face of each stepped section. To provide exterior interest, the existing masonry was covered with Iroko wood planks, which were left unsealed so as to age more quickly.
 
 
 
 
 Nando's Annapolis, MD • Photography: Anthony Gomez • Click here for more photos
 
The Nando's in the Westfield Annapolis Mall is the third U.S.
location, the first outside of a "city" center such as D.C., and the first complete design by Aria Group. Familiar Nando's artifacts such as clay pots, twisted vines and South African artwork were brought in from overseas. Medium Palado wood veneer wall panels and darker stained distressed oak caps were used throughout, creating a visually pleasing contrast. Distressed, reclaimed barn wood was used on the exterior to make a "goal post" entry element. The grand scale of the front window allows guests approaching the entry to see interior elements such as the display of the South African artwork.
 
 
 
  
Nando's 18th Street Washington, D.C. • Photography: Don Cooper
 
 
Nando's 18th Street location in Washington, D.C. is the second location Aria Group worked on in collaboration with Harrison Design of the U.K. The unique two-story restaurant includes a new mezzanine, wine room and artist-inspired plaster wall.
 
 
 
  
Nando's 7th Street Washington, D.C. • Photography: Don Cooper
 
Nando's 7th Street location in Washington D.C. is the first United States location, and Aria Group's first time working with the U.K.-based company and their designer. It was much anticipated by Peri-Peri enthusiasts who had enjoyed the unique chicken recipe while traveling overseas.
 
 
 
  
Ping Pong Dim Sum • Photography: Anthony Gomez • Click here for more photos 
 
Aria Group, in collaboration with MACH Architektur (David Marquardt) in Zurich, Switzerland, designed an upscale yet casual space to compliment the dim sum cuisine. The cosmopolitan design includes  black lacquered finishes accentuated with a thematic swirling steam image and Chinese graphic writing on the ceiling. The 7th Street location is Ping Pong Dim Sum's first entry into the North American market. Aria Group is currently working with MACH Architektur on a second location on DuPont Circle in D.C.