Antonio’s is a landmark Cleveland-area restaurant chain, known for its authentic Italian pizzas and a loyal customer following. The LoSchiavo family wanted to develop a new restaurant concept that celebrated their love for their Italian heritage and would also capture their audience for a longer period of time and drive higher revenue through an increase in overall check average. They hired Richardson Design to design a space that utilized the existing Antonio’s kitchen and tied the Antonio’s brand to the modern concept of a self-serve draft beer wall resulting in a first-to-market prototype — Antonio’s Brew Wall.

Blending traditional Italian cues with modern design aspects, the Richardson team was able to deliver a concept that targets the younger beer-centric demographic while not alienating an older, more traditional Antonio’s customer. The shell of the interior is finished in rustic brick providing a traditional context, while the tap wall is clad in a modern white oak herringbone wood plank pattern that creates a dramatic focal point in the center of the space. The overhead ceiling element — a modern take on a traditional Tuscan garden trellis and a large-scale Italian flag wall — brings a sense of pattern, texture and modern-scale play to the space.

The space is filled with details that celebrates and embraces the LoSchiavo family’s heritage. Richardson Design used the colors of the Italian flag and abstracted it at a large scale by using tile to create the flag on the wall. Frequent guests at Antonio’s know that the LoSchiavo family loves classic American muscle cars and will notice the detail on the long banquette with the stitching on the vinyl upholstery. These subtle design elements give a nod to customers who have loved and supported Antonio’s over the years, and new customers will appreciate the clean modern lines and welcoming space.

The Brew Wall concept utilizes the same kitchen for Antonio’s traditional carryout and delivery business. Delivery drivers and guests ordering carryout can walk in to pick up their orders as usual. Guests seeking to dine-in and experience the Brew Wall enter a separate space with a completely different fast casual experience.

The Brew Wall is the main feature in this new concept and boasts a 45+ tap lineup. The technology of the tap wall allows customers to purchase beer by the ounce (via an RFID wristband tied to the guest’s credit card) which allows guests to sample different offerings without having to commit to a full pint or a glass. This technology also allows for the handles to be changed frequently to highlight seasonal beers and ciders to pair with special menu offerings. Below the taps are custom metal shelving units to store glassware. Televisions line the wall for sports fans’ entertainment.

There are large communal tables which gives large families a way to have dinner together and yet the space is flexible, divided by custom caddies that contain service ware for the guests. The caddies are on rollers and slide as a way to divide parties sitting at the table. During patio season, guests can gather around a central fireplace in comfortable sofas and chairs to enjoy a beverage by the fire.

Antonio’s Brew Wall builds on the existing brand and reputation of Antonio’s Pizza, a restaurant chain that has been a Cleveland-area staple for more than 50 years. It is the first of its kind and the first to market for this concept. This model is easy to replicate, flexible in scale, and well-suited for roll-out across multiple locations.

Richardson Design, LLC
Phone 216.696.6780

Photography: Paul Sobota Photography

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