New Restaurant for “The Taste” Star Brian Malarkey Opens in Scottsdale with Trademark Chandeliers by Interior Designer Thomas Schoos

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Schoos Creates Signature Look for “Fabric” Restaurant Group Using Rope Chandeliers as a Key Element

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The origin of the first rope chandelier created by Thomas Schoos for Searsucker Restaurant in San Diego was simply a whim. At the time, Schoos could not have known that draping rope and vintage Edison light bulbs from a rustic steel frame would become the trademark design feature for an entire restaurant group by "Top Chef" and "The Taste" star Brian Malarkey.

Since the opening of Searsucker San Diego, however, there have been five more Malarkey restaurants, including the most recent Searsucker in Scottsdale, with a dozen more planned. In each case, the interiors are custom designed by Schoos with variations on these iconic lighting fixtures, always with rope and Edison bulbs.

But often, what seems like a whim is later revealed to be a stroke of genius. Innovative design doesn’t just happen; it is the result of a creative mind processing a series of design problems, project goals and cultural influences before hitting on a moment of inspiration. The first Searsucker is set in the historic Gas Lamp District of San Diego, and the restaurateurs wanted a space that celebrated the history of San Diego while also being fun, creative and casual. Since San Diego’s historic industries were ranching and shipping, rope was the perfect material because it evokes both cowboys and sailing ships. The vintage Edison bulbs also evoke early 20th century technology while giving a warm ambient glow to the surroundings, especially when gathered in bunches.

The ambiance created by these rope fixtures, as well as the other eclectic décor, was a huge hit, helping Searsucker become the second most popular restaurant in the U.S. in 2011, as reported by Time magazine.

The success of the first Searsucker encouraged the Malarkey/Schoos team to create more restaurants, all of which would have names based on fabrics and featuring variations on the rope chandeliers. Burlap, the next restaurant, combined western and Asian influences for a theme Malarkey and Schoos describe as “Asian Cowboy.” For this restaurant, Schoos kept the rope and Edison bulbs, but this time incorporated Asian icons like Burmese temple dragons and water buffalo skulls as the structure from which the western ropes and bulbs hang. For Herringbone, a seafood restaurant, Schoos decided to use nautical imagery, hanging the rope and light bulbs from inverted antique row boats and, in one case, an entire whale skeleton suspended inside a steel blimp structure. Another seafood restaurant in this “fabric” group is called Gabardine and features dozens of antique fishing poles suspended from the ceiling as a means for hanging the Edison bulbs.

In addition to the original Searsucker restaurant in San Diego, and the most recent Searsucker that opened in Scottsdale, a third Searsucker is underway in Austin, Texas with at least a dozen more in the works. And a new Herringbone is planned on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles later this year. To see more photos of all these Malarkey/Schoos restaurants and their variations on the rope chandelier, visit the Schoos online portfolio.
Besides seeing Brian Malarkey each week on "The Taste," foodies will soon be able to taste Malarkey’s cuisine and enjoy the sensual atmosphere of Thomas Schoos’ interiors in a city near them. Sometimes, a bunch of Malarkey is a good thing.

Thomas Schoos Bio: Thomas Schoos is known as designer of some of the most successful hospitality venues in the U.S., ranging from Tao Restaurant and Nightclub at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, which has been the top-grossing restaurant in the U.S. every year since it opened in 2005, to the award-winning Huntley Hotel in Santa Monica and Ellipsis restaurant in Mumbai, India. Schoos has partnered with celebrity chefs like Iron Chef Morimoto and Top Chef’s Brian Malarkey to design numerous restaurants in many cities. In 2012, his design for Morimoto Mexico City was named one of two finalists in the Hospitality Design Awards for Fine Dining.

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For more information about Schoos Design, for high resolution photos, or to interview Thomas Schoos, please contact our PR department by email at pr(at)schoos(dot)com, or telephone Matthew Hutchison at 323-822-2800. Information is also available on the Schoos Design website at

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