Culinary Outfitters Waterfront
Studio M was approached by the son of the owner of a mom and pop sandwich shop and caterer whose time it was to take over his Mother’s local eatery. As a head chef of several five-star hotel restaurants in the Bahamas, Chef Pritchard was excited to come home to Florida and transform the small sandwich shop into a thriving waterfront restaurant. As an avid fisherman, he wanted to share his passion with his patrons so he went to work to develop a palette that spoke to his love of the sea and fresh local fish and vegetables. He, along with Marsha, have a heart for supporting local business were rooting for Culinary Outfitters Waterfront deeply in its home state of Florida. We sourced local materials, vendors, craftsmen, and artists to put together what we feel is a hugely successful and beautiful waterfront dining experience.
During the planning, Marsha worked with Chef Pritchard regarding the spaces he wanted to incorporate into the program:
open kitchen concept
private dining room for larger dinner parties
and a separate dining room that could be rented out for bigger parties such as bridal events and birthdays.
Once those needs were met Marsha wanted to create smaller dining experiences throughout. There is a comfortable lounge area near the hostess stand and bar for people to hang out and enjoy a cocktail while waiting on their table.
There is a “captains table” near the custom wine cooler that was planned to be the regular hangout of some infamous St. Augustine “captains”. The finishes were changed here to provide a look that differentiated itself from the rest of the restaurant but still blended. To add mystique surrounding the private dining room, Marsha and her team designed a custom walk-through wine cooler feature that leads to the private area.
For patrons who want to drop by just for a cocktail, there is a large bar centered in the space. Behind the bar is a smaller seating area that contains booth seating for a diner feel. The rest of the dining area is outfitted with bistro-style tables and centered booths. We planned a booth in the center of the main dining to break up the vast space into smaller, more intimate areas for diners to enjoy. The extensive outdoor patio takes full advantage of the water plus adds 200 more seats for dining, a huge outdoor bar with a communal table, more high tops, several sectional sofa lounge areas, and a place for the band. Patrons could visit Culinary Outfitters every day for two straight weeks, and have a different experience.
When it came to selecting the furniture and finishes care was taken to source locally as much as possible. The wood species we selected for walls, ceilings, and millwork is locally sourced Cypress which we custom stained to a beautiful golden brown color. All the furniture was designed in tandem with a custom furniture business owner and close personal friend of the Chef. The creative process brought about thoughtful details and accents to the custom tables, chairs, and hostess stand. Local St. Augustine craftsman carved custom millwork for both inside and outside bars using local cypress with copper details. A local metalsmith creates custom metal doors and details throughout. During the planning, we consulted with a Feng shui expert who blessed our project every step of the way from the orientation of the building on the site down to every interior color choice. Selections were oriented in such a way as to invite success in and keep bad vibes out.
A local art representative, gallery owner, and artist put the collection of work from local artists. We met several times to outline Marsha’s vision for the artwork. One artist created expressionistic paintings of the local rivers and streams from above, another photographer shot photographs from the local St. Augustine city and surrounding marshes, and others painted images of fish that Chef would have caught and perhaps served as entrees. A three-dimensional piece of the State of Florida that Chef will mark today’s catch with little flags. A fun and interactive way of keeping tabs on where the food is sourced. Another whimsical touch is taxidermied fish that our Chef had caught previously and that a patron could expect to see on the menu. At every turn, we kept the interior very close to the Chef’s heart. The result is another amazing space from the team at Studio M Interior Design.