Overview

Dallas neighborhoods like Deep Ellum are booming with new bars and restaurants, offering craft cocktails or fresh takes on steak or blended cuisines. Restaurant designers are taking advantage of the city’s rich history, with themes inspired by the Prohibition era or the days when Dallas was a booming trading post. Dallas firms offer complete suites of services, from food and beverage concepts to uniforms and wall colors. They create not just a space, but an experience. Restaurant design firms are ranked below based on their consistent collaborations with award-winning chefs, their awards from AIA Dallas and D Magazine, as well as national mentions from Zagat and other consumer publications and national trade organizations.

Top Architects

10
OFFICIAL

Architects:
Mark Leveno
Amy Leveno

Awards:
AIA Dallas Honor Award,
PaperCity Award

Address:
1841 Levee Street, Dallas, TX 75207

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About OFFICIAL

This studio’s services encompass architecture, interiors, and furniture design. Principals Mark and Amy Leveno have both been working in the field since 1998 and started working together in 2005. Mark Leveno’s furniture designs have been exhibited internationally. He received his MFA in Furniture Design from the Savannah College of Art and Design and has taught furniture design and interior detailing at the University of Texas at Arlington. Amy Wynne Leveno, AIA, is LEED accredited and has worked on architecture projects in multiple cities throughout the US. She received her Master of Architecture from University of Texas at Austin and has taught at the Savannah College of Art and Design and University of Texas at Arlington. OFFICIAL’s design for the Houndstooth Coffee and Jettison Cocktail Bar won a 2016 Honor Award for Small Projects from AIA Dallas. Official designed the second location for Houndstooth Coffee in East Austin, as well. They’ve done other conceptual designs for a new café in Dallas, and you can plan on seeing more restaurant designs from this firm.

Featured Projects

Houndstooth Café is designed to play with light. Slotted, wooden panels in a houndstooth pattern cover one exterior wall off the covered patio, creating fun light and shadows. The main space contains high ceilings, big windows, and white wooden paneling on the walls. A white wooden structure (named the “cloud”) floats above the coffee bar and bounces light throughout the room. White oak tables continue the light motif. The 2,100-square-foot coffee shop turns into Jettison, a cocktail bar, in the evening. The bar occupies a back corner of the L-shaped building. Where a cloud was showcased in the café, an inverted void-like space offers an industrial peek at the interior of the ceiling bordered by hanging rectangular wood pieces painted gold. The structure acts as a built-in light fixture, casting a warm golden glow. The back walls containing the bar are darkly painted with wood paneling. A long curtain runs along the exterior wall, creating a softer, more intimate space.

9
Vision 360

Architects:
Brad Belletto

Awards:
Golden Brick Award

Address:
5728 Prospect Avenue, Suite 2003, Dallas, TX 75206

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About Vision 360

This architect and interior design studio offers restaurant and hospitality design, as well as branding and photography, food and menu development, and green kitchen solutions. The firm’s founder and CEO, Brad Belletto, has over 35 years of national and international experience in the restaurant and entertainment industry, and he has consulted, designed, and built over 400 restaurants, nightclubs, and bars. He established Vision 360 with his partner Michelle Bushey in 1998. The firm has worked on over 60 restaurants, from Howard Wang’s Uptown to Dallas’s Twin Peaks.

Featured Projects

Fish City Grill, with five locations throughout the Dallas metropolitan area, strives to be a neighborhood favorite. When the franchise wanted to update their brand, the firm went with fun and casual, featuring a bright color palette and light wood tones to replace the existing green, burgundy, and walnut that had a more somber feel. Through new colors on the wall and vinyl booths, as well as new lighting, the locations feel more consistently branded. The Café at the Williams Square is a mom-and-pop deli found in the Williams Square highrise in Irving, Texas. The 7,500-square-foot restaurant stays busy as one of the only fast casual dining spaces in the area. The cafe serves better than average lunch fare, and the design firm wanted their space to match the food quality. The design firm went for a high-end motif with dark walnut chairs at rustic tabletops and leather cushioned sofas. Ebony, wood veneer panels line the walls.

8
MSC Design

Architects:
Matthew Stevens Crittenden

Address:
10935 Estate Lane, Suite 300, Dallas, TX 75238

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About MSC Design

Founded in 2005 by Matthew Stevens Crittenden, the mission of MSC Design is to create quality, innovative designs for their clients. They work collaboratively with real estate brokers and subcontractors to ensure quality throughout the entire process. The firm works on both commercial and residential projects throughout the Dallas area. Crittenden studied architecture at Texas A&M University and has spent two decades in the industry. MSC Design was named one of Dallas AIA’s 10 Under Ten in 2011.

Featured Projects

MSC Design has worked on a number of Gloria’s Restaurants, a popular local chain offering Latin cuisine with 15 restaurants throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth and Austin areas. The restaurant located in the Bishop Arts District is a renovated space that used to be a working firehouse. The building is still known as Station 15. The firm received a Preservation Dallas award for their design in 2012. The design integrated historic features, like the brass fireman’s pole. Inside the space is all warm wood, with exposed wood beams in the ceiling, hardwood floors, and wood-backed booths, while outside, a new patio features skyline views and fountains integrating fire and water. The firm also designed La Calle Doce’s second location in Lakewood. La Calle Doce is a family-friendly Mexican seafood restaurant. Where the first location was a converted family home, the second location is a industrial space that keeps its factory feel with an all-brick feature wall; large, metal ceilings and oversized windows high up the walls. The large space also features a cozy bar with drop lights.

7
Archiphy Architects

Architects:
Margine Biswas

Address:
16990 N. Dallas Parkway, Suite 104, Dallas, TX 75248

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About Archiphy Architects

This full-service architecture firm works on renovations, facilities planning, and new construction. They work on a large variety of commercial projects, from lounges to gyms and retail spaces. Founded in 2006 as a sole proprietorship of Margine Biswas, AIA, LEED AP, the firm grew and was incorporated in 2011. Biswas studied architecture at the University of Texas at Austin and worked at several Dallas firms before starting her own.

“I’ve always liked to draw and my first love was art.  I wanted to be an artist, but took History of Architecture as an elective in college.  I realized that architecture is a form of art, but the designs actually improve spaces, environments and lives. ” – Margine Biswas

Featured Projects

Pane Vino Allen is a 1,400-square-foot, family-owned Italian restaurant in Allen, a northern suburb of Dallas. The dining room and cocktail bar are built around an open kitchen with a large, wood-fired oven. Wood floors are offset by brick and stone walls. The commercial kitchen has quarry tile floors and stainless steel backsplashes, visually separating the kitchen space from the dining area. The bar’s lighting is recessed into the wine racks hanging from the ceiling. Archiphy also designed the restaurant’s outdoor patio. Roots on Tap, located across from Fair Park, serves fruit and vegetable drinks to its health-conscious Dallas customers. The firm designed the seating area, commercial kitchen, restroom remodel, and storage space. The simple and intimate space contains one line of booth and bench seating and a walk-up counter. Archiphy recently designed a new restaurant called Up On Knox, which was featured on Pure Wow as “One Of the 9 Dallas Restaurants Everyone Will Be Talking About This Year.”

“One thing that inspires me is each client’s perspective about their project and taking that first idea and connecting it to their essence.  I also look at each space and try to make it as efficient as possible before starting the more intricate details related to finishes.” – Margine Biswas

6
Wilson Associates

Architects:
Jim Rimelspach
James Carry
Michael Crosby
Tristan Auer
Dan Kwan

Address:
3811 Turtle Creek Boulevard, Suite 1600, Dallas, TX 75219

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About Wilson Associates

For more than 45 years, Wilson Associates’ dynamic talent and collaborative spirit have inspired and created some of the world’s most iconic, avant-garde spaces. The full-service firm has a global presence, with 10 international offices, and offers interior architectural design, food and beverage design, architectural concepts, art consultation, and fully integrated architecture, master planning, and landscape design. Partnering with celebrity chefs and restaurateurs from Stephan Pyles to Gordon Ramsay, the firm’s food and beverage services include operations and kitchen planning, food and beverage concept and branding consultation, graphic design and uniform design, market research, and interior design. Among Wilson Associates’ many accomplishments, their designs are consistently listed among Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best, Conde Nast Traveler Reader’s Choice Awards, AAA Five Diamond Awards, and Forbes Travel Guide Star Ranking.

“I was born into an architecture and artist family. My father is an architect and still draws at the age of 92 and my mother was an artist. Initially, I worked in residential because often, when you’re learning, you learn on a smaller scale. I was always trying to design the perfect South African home for myself in the vernacular that I loved. Gradually I became more commercial and became involved with Wilson Associates when they were working in South Africa, and I transitioned from architecture to interior architecture when I moved to the USA and focused on understanding drawing furniture and the detail involved. I think, wherever you go you see things that really resonate with you. I believe that through travel and observation, connection to nature and an appreciation of surroundings, you can always be inspired.” -Michael Crosby

Featured Projects

Zagat named Flora Street Café, run by James Beard Award-winner Stephen Pyles, one of the most anticipated summer openings in 2017. Wilson Associates’ Jim Rimelspach used the concept “food as theater” for the interiors, an entire scene you can observe through the wall-to-ceiling glass windows in front. It’s filled with art installations, including a silk tapestry from fiber artist Tim Harding, which evokes stage curtains, and the “Shylight,” a kinetic sculpture by Amsterdam’s Studio Drift. Guide Live called the restaurant “visually stunning” and received five stars from Dallas food critic Leslie Brenner who called it “a breathtaking restaurant, a singular achievement.” The recently opened Neighborhood Services restaurant in the Omni Frisco, anchored by the Dallas Cowboys World Headquarters at The Star complex, is a destination for local residents and hotel guests alike. Helmed by notable Dallas restaurateur Nick Badovinus, the restaurant’s refined modern rustic design pairs well with modern upscale comfort food, and features an outdoor patio, private dining room, displayed vintage sports-themed memorabilia, some from the Dallas Cowboys Archives, and custom-made S-shaped leather banquettes and an eye-catching rope light fixture, both designed by Wilson Associates. Barter in Uptown tipped its hat to the city’s roots as a trading post. The rustic space used corkboard floors, oak walls, reclaimed barn doors, and a brick accent wall, topped off with Texas décor. Tall, upholstered booth backs and leather table seats, along with floor-to-ceiling linens, warmed the space. The restaurant, which closed this year, served contemporary local cuisine and seated 134 inside, along with a 23-seat patio.

5
Droese Raney Architecture

Architects:
David Droese
Lance Raney

Awards:
West Dallas Chamber of Commerce

Address:
2120 Sylvan Avenue, Dallas, TX 75208

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About Droese Raney Architecture

Formed in 1998 by Principals David Droese, AIA, and Lance Raney, the firm has worked on architecture and interior design projects in the commercial, hospitality, and retail sectors around the country. Their portfolio includes new, prominent, high-end restaurants and retail stores throughout the Dallas area. Their work has been featured in a diverse set of publications from New York Magazine to The World’s Best New Fashion Stores, as well as many local lifestyle publications. In 2014, the firm received the Visionary Developer Award from the West Dallas Chamber of Commerce.

Featured Projects

The Theodore at NorthPark Center was opened by James Beard award-winning executive chef Tim Byres in 2015. Offering fresh takes on American cuisine, the space, designed by the Droese Raney firm, was inspired by Teddy Roosevelt and the era of Western discovery. The dining room is set up like a classic library featuring books, a fireplace and private nooks. The Theodore also contains an open-air bakery. Prominent Dallas chef Nilton “Junior” Borges and executive chef Josh Sutcliff opened their newest venture, the Mirador, on top floor of the Forty Five Ten, one of the city’s premier upscale boutiques. The restaurant offers a rich American menu. The penthouse restaurant features floor-to-ceiling windows and patio dining, with the interior décor to match. With velvet banquettes and chairs in their own curtained private nooks, marble tabletops near the bar bordered by a textured metallic wall, the refined boutique restaurant matches its upscale home.

4
Kuzuu Design

Designers:
Hatsumi Kuzuu

Awards:
D Home Magazine Best International Restaurant Design

Address:
501 S Second Avenue, Building C, Dallas, TX 75226

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About Kuzuu Design

Kuzuu Design is an interior and architecture design company specializing in retail, hospitality, and residential spaces. It was founded by Hatsumi Kuzuu in 2004. The firm’s designs have won Best International Restaurant Design from D Home Magazine. One of Kuzuu’s designs was listed in the 20 Most Stunning Restaurants in the US by Zagat in 2013. Kuzuu has worked on over 30 hospitality spaces in the Dallas area, as well as a number of other projects, from law firms and martial arts studios to Kazy’s Japanese Fish Market.

Featured Projects

Smoke and Mortar is one of the newest restaurant groups managed by three veterans of Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Room, in addition to Tim Porter. Their first concept restaurant is IdleRye, found in the newly transformed Deep Ellum neighborhood. IdleRye shoots for steampunk Prohibition era with galvanized metals; locally sourced, distressed wood; Edison lighting; and industrial pipe fittings and pulleys. The 3,400-square-foot restaurant contains an additional 900 square feet of patio for a total of 150 seats. A courtyard behind the restaurant offers additional café-style seating. FT33 is run by one of Dallas’s favorite chefs, Matt McCallister, and offers seasonal Texas-sourced ingredients. The restaurant seats 90, including the bar. FT33 was done as a collaboration between Architecture and Fabrication and Kuzuu Design. The simple, clean space uses birch mahogany tables and industrial materials, including matching metal-grated shelving and ceiling structures. The chef’s table is a nine-foot granite slab.

3
JonesBaker Interiors and Architecture

Architects:
William Baker and JB Jones

Address:
1922 S Akard, Suite A, Dallas, TX 75215

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About JonesBaker Interiors and Architecture

William Baker and JB Jones founded their studio in 1998 by working on small-scale renovations for acquaintances. They’ve since grown to eight employees and have worked on projects around the world, as well as on notable Dallas restaurants like Meso Maya and Cook Hall. The firm, which focuses on the food and beverage and hospitality industries, generates more than $1M a year.

Featured Projects

Principal William Baker attempts to bring the sense of the bustling streets of Thailand to CrushCraft, which offers Thai street food to its Uptown customers. He asked for the owner’s family to send knickknacks featuring Thai lettering to Dallas in order to use it for decoration. The back of the restaurant — a glass half-dome made of pink granite and stucco — did not fit the design. Baker used slat wood and locally grown bamboo to cover the walls and ceiling. He also contracted with Color Condition, a group offering streamer decorations, to create Thai-themed interchangeable installations. The installations features animated, brightly colored ribbons that fill the space with energy. The firm’s goal for designing Bowl & Barrel, a boutique bowling alley, was to reinterpret the American classic and make it more warm and intimate. The space also features a bar with a craft menu from former York Street chef Sharon Hage. They used structural columns to break up the large space into more intimate pockets, and broke up the ceiling height by adding arched wood trusses. They used chic leather sofas and lounge furniture, along with a large communal table in the bar area, to finish the modern classic space.

2
Plan B Group

Architects:
Royce Ring
Alex Urrunga

Awards:
Nation Restaurant News’ “Hot Concepts” Award

Address:
2208 Commerce Street, Dallas, TX 75201

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About Plan B Group

Founded in 2005 by ex-restaurant operators and current Principals Royce Ring and Alex Urrunga, Plan B Group knows the hospitality business. Ring and Urrunga hired architects, interior designers, and graphic designers to fill out their award-winning full-service design firm. Plan B calls the combination of space, design, and ambiance the “Brand DNA.” They collaborate with restaurateurs on everything from the operational floor to the food. Their goal is designing a space that stays relevant year after year. Plan B’s list of hospitality clients (with a smattering of international names) is in the hundreds. Among other accomplishments, the firm has won a Nation’s Restaurant News’ “Hot Concepts” Award.

Featured Projects

The Velvet Taco serves trendy, non-traditional tacos. The very modern design mimics street art on the exterior with retro diner feel inside. Patrons can order at the counter or lounge at varnished wood tables and metal stool seating. Plan B worked on everything from the architecture to the uniforms and music programming. Their sign designs include a retro margarita sign, bright pink window displays, and a trending logo on the exterior and the uniform sleeves. Velvet Taco is truly a brand, with franchises in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, and Houston, as well as in Chicago. For Whiskey Cake Kitchen and Bar, a farm-to-fork restaurant in Plano, Plan B did everything from choosing the furniture to coming up with the name. Exposed brick and tall ceilings with exposed beams give the space a post-industrial feel, while the on-site herb garden and cozy mix of upholstered and chair seating softens it up. The successful restaurant opened up its second location in Oklahoma City in 2013.

1
Coevál Studio

Architects:
John Paul Valverde
Miguel Vicens

Awards:
D Magazine Best Bars

Address:
154 Leslie Street, Dallas, TX 75207

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About Coevál Studio

John Paul Valverde and Miguel Vicens opened their studio around three components: brand creation, interior environment and architectural environment. They care how the space flows, as well as how it feels. Everything from uniforms to lighting is considered. They tackle about 25 projects a year, including many trending bars and restaurants, such as Stirr and Nikkei. This year, Modern Luxury Interiors Texas gave them the award for Best Restaurant Design for STIRR, a cocktail, lunch, and dinner space in Deep Ellum.

Featured Projects

The Harwood Group wanted something you couldn’t yet find in Dallas, and The Happiest Hour was the result. At 12,800 square feet, it’s the largest patio bar and lounge in the city, featuring a full kitchen, several bars, and a 3,000-square-foot rooftop patio — a project that took years to put together. The layout is precise and accommodates the bar’s high volume. Downstairs features circular tables, booths, and an L-shaped seated bar, while the upstairs contains comfy red-leather couches. Happiest Hour was one of D Magazine’s Best Bars in 2017 and 2015 and was Reader’s Choice for Best View from a Bar in 2016. The bar is estimated to bring in more than $13M a year. Pakpao Thai, found in the Design District, is the near opposite of The Happiest Hour; namely, very small. The limited space, only 1,300 square feet with a 20-foot kitchen, creates an intimate and lively space. Pakpao means “kite,” and the design features handmade Pakpao and Chula kites imported from Thailand. They are joined by three Buddha statues suspended against a wall. Storefront glass windows connect the dining room to the outdoor patio. Space is a commodity, and seating is everywhere.

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