Sweet flavors, spicy life. That’s the mantra at Paladar Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar, and its partner Elie Weiss approached Richardson to fully integrate and infuse this brand into the guest dining experience. Richardson came on board when Paladar was preparing to open its third restaurant in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Weiss and partner Andy Himmel wanted a fresh start for Paladar.

Distinct Experiences for Diners
The 6,700 square foot Gaithersburg restaurant is formatted as a collection of smaller dining spaces, and our team created a specific flavor for each so diners can select among a range of experiences. Meanwhile, the various “rooms” share elements to create an intimate, cohesive feel: jewel colors, Spanish-style furniture. Each room is a chapter of the Paladar story—that is, a reminiscent tale of dining in a soulful, Cuban residential restaurant (called paladares) with vibrant Latin cuisine. The interior includes bold, fuchsia textiles and accent walls, over-scaled Spanish tile, and an intricate rum display that is constructed to frame the window of a charming street view.

Design included enriching a new space with culture and history. That was accomplished with pieces including a 14th Century Spanish-inspired hostess desk that greets patrons. There are painted wood beams and pressed-tin ceiling panels. And, subtle hints of Cuban living are revealed through details such as a curated wall of vintage picture frames, custom walnut millwork and ring-bone patterned carpet.

Now, every seat in the restaurant is at a “good table” because of the design detail and overall environment. And, Paladar’s brand boasts a higher level of sophistication.

Setting a Fresh Paladar Precedent
The Gaithersburg location became the prototype design that was rolled out to its locations at Tysons Corner, VA, and King of Prussia, PA (opened Sept. 30, 2016). Today, Paladar Holdings LLC has six restaurants with the Paladar Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar name. By returning to roots of what it means to dine and drink at a “paladare,” Richardson’s complete redesign helped visually connect the dining experience to the Paladar brand.

Photography: John Spaulding Photography www.johnspauldingphotography.com

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