True Food Kitchen: Viva Las Vegas!
True Food Kitchen entered the Las Vegas market in 2019 to great success in Summerlin, Nevada. When an opportunity arose at The Forum Shops of Caesars Palace on the Las Vegas strip, it was a natural fit for a flagship location. From the beginning, the whole True Food team (client, consultants and Aria Group) were set on creating a space that stood up to the Las Vegas energy and provided a lively and elevated dining experience. A restaurant that seamlessly transitions from an early lunch to a late evening nosh. The Aria design team was then tasked to think about True Food as a brand and how their typically light, airy and daylight-filled spaces would transition to a space that is inward focused and full of life at night. Working together, Aria and True Food both coined the term, “Grow & Glow” as an aspirational motto for the health focused food brand as well as being vibrant and fun which is what Vegas is all about!
The space took over three existing retail units as well as a build out of a ‘floating bar’ within the center mall fountain which would act as an extension of the restaurant. One of the largest challenges of the design had to do with the space itself and the complex Caesars Palace building shell. By placing the kitchen and restrooms along the exterior walls, which had the most angles and undulations, we were able to square off a usable front of house space that allowed for a sense of flow and cohesion.
By locating the main bar adjacent to the kitchen, it allowed for an easy flow of staff circulation to the kitchen as well as providing views from the main dining through the bar and into the kitchen beyond. We imbued that Vegas, “see and be seen” lifestyle into how we approached the design of the two private dining rooms which integrated semi-transparent partitions to separate the space from the main dining room. The seating extends out into the shopping center corridor to create a ‘patio’ dining space which has to remain flexible, loose seating that can all be moved back into the restaurant to allow for proper floor cleaning of the main corridors.
As far as the design goes, the challenge was to amplify the True Food brand just the right amount so that if fit the Vegas style yet still stayed true to the essence of a True Food Kitchen. To do so, we utilized several unique design strategies. At the main bar, a vibrant green glass display accented with a brass and marble porcelain bar front provides a high-contrast bold look. The overhead steel structure that amplifies the bar design from above had to be detailed with careful consideration due to Las Vegas being located within a seismic zone.
Down the center of the of the dining room, a faux lit skylight was suspended within the windowless space to help evoke the natural daylight feel that is typically found in other locations. Below the skylight are 30” deep metal mesh letters that spell out, “BE TRUE.” Upholstered chairs throughout the dining room and in the private dining rooms help to provide an elevated dining experience while remaining on-brand when paired next to the typical TFK metal dining chair.
Two private dining rooms, the “Outdoor Courtyard” and “The Greenhouse Shed” were fitted out with their own unique interiors that provide a space within a space where diners experience something different each time they come back. The True Bar located within the central fountain, played off of an outdoor cabana feel by incorporating casual outdoor lounge seating, organic pendant lighting and plants at various scales throughout. The bar was carefully designed and coordinated with roll down shutters to lock up the bar when closed.
If you ever find yourself in Las Vegas for a short trip, please stop by and experience the many different dining spaces that True Food Kitchen & True Bar have to offer. With a city and space that speaks volumes on its own, this TFK is a true gem that will surprise you every time you return. We are excited to share that our design and efforts on this project were recently recognized this year with a 2021 RED Award in the Hospitality category by the IIDA Chicago chapter!
Our team for this project consisted of Orenthal Jefferies, Jennifer Gallagher, Shannon Sterne, Lis Battle, Violet Malolepsza, Henry Mallorca, Caitlin Hubbs, Stephanie Cole, and Joe Vajda.
General Contractor: Jet Construction
Millworker: JBI Millwork
Photographer: Leinani Yosaitis
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