LUX LIFE! Luxury, High End Finishes among Top 6 Trends in Restaurant Construction in 2020

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LOTT Restaurant Construction Forecasts Industry Trends in the New Year.

Companies are no longer seeking to cut corners or skimp...when it comes to the overall patron experience.

Restaurant construction is booming in the U.S. as dining establishments and eateries seek to become more relevant in the ultra-competitive hospitality and culinary world. So what will be making news in the new year? Maxim Parkhomchuk, VP of Construction & Executive Project Manager at LOTT Restaurant Construction in Philadelphia, shares his insights on some of the top trends he’s predicting will continue into 2020. Parkhomchuk gained his expertise from managing the construction of many notable restaurants including B2 Bluefin (Bala Cynwyd), Andiario (West Chester), and coming in 2020…Steak48 (Philadelphia). The LOTT team has collectively built over 400 restaurants throughout the United States since 1992. Here’s what Parkhomchuk is seeing right now in restaurant design and construction in the U.S.:

The Return of Luxury
High-end finishes, grandiose designs and exclusive materials will be making a comeback. The new 12,000-square foot Steak 48 concept currently under construction at 260 S. Broad Street in the historic Atlantic building in Philadelphia is a prime example of the swing to a luxury dining experience, says Parkhomchuk. The $7 million project he is overseeing for one of the country’s most recognized names in steakhouse culture — Michael and Jeffrey Mastro — is loaded with custom materials from abroad. “We’re talking handmade tiles from Mexico and custom mirrors from overseas. The palette of bold, rich colors and details such as gold, brass, stone and metal trims in abundance.” He says, “Companies are no longer seeking to cut corners or skimp; when it comes to the 'show' or overall patron experience.” In the same vein, look for textured wall coverings, materials you want to touch, and innovative materials such as acoustical fabric ceilings and highly-decorative industrial grade flooring.

Private Dining Suites
Primarily earmarked for large parties, expect to see more private dining rooms for smaller groups designed with a lot of thought. These rooms increase revenue for owners, allowing them to offer different menu options and also serve as overflow dining spaces on busy nights. Many private rooms are equipped with audio visual equipment for meetings or to display photos for parties, but the technology is so well integrated into the design that when not in use, they disappear from view. Private rooms designed as “swing spaces” with roll away doors or glass walls gives the restaurant versatility in usage.

Visible Kitchens
Open kitchens continue to be popular allowing diners to be closer to the action. Steak 48 will feature a one-of-a-kind 1,500-square foot expo kitchen with ceiling-to-floor glass wall surrounds, including adjacent booth seating peering directly into the expo kitchen. Aside from being incredibly clean and well organized due to all of the “transparency,” open kitchen concepts allow the customers to get intimate with the action and provide wonderful modes of observation.

High-tech Communication Tools
Whether it’s utilizing ProCore or EarthCam, a high-tech framework/platform for effective team collaboration on complex projects; Revit or BIM software which uses 3D modeling in every phase of the project, from concept to visualization; or high definition photo and video scanning, there’s no denying the expanding role of technology. Virtual reality is now!

Bringing the Outdoors In
This trend will continue to get better with the use of higher tech products such as retractable roofs, accordion doors, outdoor fireplaces and all-weather heaters, and all weather rooftops. Restaurants that don’t have access to outdoor space are bringing the outdoors in using greenery, large glass windows, glass walls and oversized garage doors that can remain open in nice weather.

Fashionable and Functional Wine Storage
High-tech wine cases are becoming increasingly more visually stunning design statements in U.S. restaurants. No longer relegated to the cellar, restaurant wine collections are on full display in gorgeous glass cases in the bar or dining room. It’s often a challenge to incorporate an elaborate wine storage unit into front of the house designs, and construction teams need to coordinate multiple sophisticated engineering systems – refrigeration, lighting and HVAC controls — into an esthetically pleasing and functional design. Between the orchestration of material deliveries, the coordination of trades people, and the challenges of existing space fit-outs (as opposed to new construction), the creation of fashionable and functional wine storage can be quite tricky, but the LOTT team agrees that the visual and capital benefits for operators make it well worth the aggravation.

LOTT Restaurant Construction is a full-service construction management firm specializing in restaurant development and design. LOTT thrives on bringing complex projects to completion in record time and maintaining strict cost controls. The company has opened more than 400 restaurant locations in more than 15 states nationwide. As Frank Lott says, “We equate the construction of a restaurant to that of a fine watch. It must be precise, exact, consistent and on time. That’s what we do at LOTT. That’s the only way we know.” To learn more, please visit

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