Contract - Perfectly Palatable: bb’s kitchen, Aspen, Colo., Designed by Rowland+Broughton Architecture and Urban Design

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Perfectly Palatable: bb’s kitchen, Aspen, Colo., Designed by Rowland+Broughton Architecture and Urban Design

15 July, 2011

-By Holly Richmond


It takes more than good design and dedication to create an exciting, successful restaurant that is open 365 days a year, three meals a day. It takes a bit of chutzpa, as well. Apparently Bruce Berger, owner and developer of bb’s kitchen in Aspen, Colo., has a good handle on that approach when it comes to fruitfully merging his professional and personal life. “Cooking is a major avocation of mine, and I’ve wanted to open a restaurant for a long time. My wife, however, was completely opposed to the idea, so I thought it was appropriate to name it after her,” Berger says with a touch of joyous sarcasm.

>> Click the "more photos" link to view images

Thus, bb’s kitchen (B.B. is short for Barbara Berger) opened in late December 2010 after a decidedly fast and focused three-month rebuild of a second-floor space that once housed an art gallery. Rowland+Broughton Architecture and Urban Design (R+B), with offices in Denver and Aspen, Colo., was the ideal firm to take on the formidable challenge. The 2,500-sq.-ft., 66-seat restaurant and lounge features all of the comfortable elements of an upscale diner with terrific home-cooking at an affordable price, yet in an atmosphere that caters to the sophistication level of Aspen’s local clientele. Sarah Broughton, R+B principal, recognized Berger’s passion for food and service and matched it with a space that is modern, eclectic, and, above all, functional. “bb’s concept is holistic and its design complete, which enables it to seamlessly transition from breakfast to dinner to late-night drinks,” notes Broughton.

The main dining room features cozy, diner-esque booths and banquette seating in warm wood and deep red tones that are contrasted by the subdued black, greys, and whites of the space’s backdrop. One side of the dining room showcases a custom designed bar with “belly up to the bar” counter stools, while an adjacent, full-service lounge completes the casual-yet-elegant atmosphere with its own unique design qualities. This mix of seating allows guests a range of opportunities for dining, from power breakfasts to romantic dinners to après ski snacks and cocktails.

Berger was adamant that the atmosphere should feel hip but not so over the top as to be unappealing to more mature guests. R+B met the challenge by creating an aesthetic sensibility with mass appeal, which include flexible seating and a layering of design elements that simultaneously offers a sense of openness with pockets of intimacy. Broughton says that cohesion was key, and a major challenge included creating an unassuming level of comfort in an atmosphere that is decidedly upscale. She says, “We met the challenge with specific design solutions that considered both the elegance and flow of the space, but also its functionality. No matter how great the food is, if the restaurant doesn’t ‘work’ and service lacks, it will not be a success.” These “unglamorous yet utilitarian” elements include visually hidden gas and electrical components, a dumbwaiter, water lines, and high-grade acoustics. 

Great food is at the heart of bb’s kitchen. Thus, Berger, with his love of food, and R+B, with its creative design solutions, collaborated on an open kitchen plan within the relatively tight space. “I love being around food, and I know others do too, so having the chefs at work on beautifully plated food in clear view was essential,” says Berger. Homemade jams and syrups in traditional mason jars line the rear service area shelves, doing double duty to communicate a sense of down-home charm, as well as serving as backlit interior elements.

Artwork also is a major player in bb’s appealing sensibility. The Bergers have been collectors since the 1960s and have a particular fondness for text art, which they felt would be ideal for the space. Images such as “Be Salty” and “Purely Delicious” cover an entry wall, as well as an accent wall behind the bar, literally providing food for thought. “I wanted bb’s to be whimsical and witty, and make people feel like they were getting a top-notch dining experience for a reasonable price. I also wanted locals to have a place to go that would always meet their needs, from breakfast to lunch, dinner and after dinner,” Berger explains.

Broughton cannot say enough about the successful collaboration with Berger, and she is proud of how R+B transformed a space that was decidedly “unrestaurant-like” into a popular, comfortable, and inspiring dining locale. “The experience was very hands-on for all involved, and that’s why it works,” she says. “It was a labor of love, and I believe bb’s will continue to thrive because of it.” 

SOURCE LIST

Who:
Client: Bruce Berger. Architect/ Interior designer: Rowland+Broughton Architecture and Urban Design; Sarah Broughton, AIA & Dana Ganssle, Associate AIA, LEED AP. Contractor: Dana Eppstein Construction, LLC. Engineering: AEC, Architectural. Kitchen: Jacobs Doland. Graphics: Carey Smith and Jane Wagman. Furniture dealer: Mitchell Gold Bob Williams, Ablyss Custom Furnishings, Cape Furniture. Structural: Cole Associates. Photographer: Jason Dewey.

What:
Wallcoverings: Elizabeth Dow, “Girls! Girls! Girls!” (restroom). Paint: Benjamin Moore. Laminate: Wilsonart. Flooring: Parterre Flooring. Carpet/carpet tile: Constantine Ceiling: Whisper Walls. Lighting: Sonneman Boxus Wall Sconce; Custom Lighting by Rowland+Broughton; Rejuvenation Burnside Pendant; Outdoor Lighting by The Paper Lantern Store. Doors: Electric Eye Sliding Door (Exterior/Egress); Flat Panel Door – Painted Maple. Glass: Clear Vu Window Tinting. Window treatments: Shades by Innovative Openings. Workstations: Caeserstone (in lounge); Cherry with Glass Top by Aspen Custom Glass (in kitchen). Lounge seating: Ottomans by Mitchell Gold Bob Williams; Custom Chairs by Ablyss Custom Furnishings. Dining room bar stools: Cape Furniture. Upholstery: Anzea, Copy Cow in Taurus in booths and banquettes. Cafeteria, dining, training tables: GAR Tables. Bar Top: Anzea. Entryway Console Table: Brad Reed Nelson. Architectural woodworking: Stained Cherry Wood Custom. Signage: Arapahoe Sign Arts. Plumbing fixtures: Kohler Hardware; Lacava Sink.

Where:
Location: Aspen, CO. Total floor area: 2,500 sq. ft. (including indoor/outdoor spaces & lounge area annex). No. of floors: 1. Total staff size: 25. Cost/sq. ft.: $220.




Perfectly Palatable: bb’s kitchen, Aspen, Colo., Designed by Rowland+Broughton Architecture and Urban Design

15 July, 2011


Jason Dewey

It takes more than good design and dedication to create an exciting, successful restaurant that is open 365 days a year, three meals a day. It takes a bit of chutzpa, as well. Apparently Bruce Berger, owner and developer of bb’s kitchen in Aspen, Colo., has a good handle on that approach when it comes to fruitfully merging his professional and personal life. “Cooking is a major avocation of mine, and I’ve wanted to open a restaurant for a long time. My wife, however, was completely opposed to the idea, so I thought it was appropriate to name it after her,” Berger says with a touch of joyous sarcasm.

>> Click the "more photos" link to view images

Thus, bb’s kitchen (B.B. is short for Barbara Berger) opened in late December 2010 after a decidedly fast and focused three-month rebuild of a second-floor space that once housed an art gallery. Rowland+Broughton Architecture and Urban Design (R+B), with offices in Denver and Aspen, Colo., was the ideal firm to take on the formidable challenge. The 2,500-sq.-ft., 66-seat restaurant and lounge features all of the comfortable elements of an upscale diner with terrific home-cooking at an affordable price, yet in an atmosphere that caters to the sophistication level of Aspen’s local clientele. Sarah Broughton, R+B principal, recognized Berger’s passion for food and service and matched it with a space that is modern, eclectic, and, above all, functional. “bb’s concept is holistic and its design complete, which enables it to seamlessly transition from breakfast to dinner to late-night drinks,” notes Broughton.

The main dining room features cozy, diner-esque booths and banquette seating in warm wood and deep red tones that are contrasted by the subdued black, greys, and whites of the space’s backdrop. One side of the dining room showcases a custom designed bar with “belly up to the bar” counter stools, while an adjacent, full-service lounge completes the casual-yet-elegant atmosphere with its own unique design qualities. This mix of seating allows guests a range of opportunities for dining, from power breakfasts to romantic dinners to après ski snacks and cocktails.

Berger was adamant that the atmosphere should feel hip but not so over the top as to be unappealing to more mature guests. R+B met the challenge by creating an aesthetic sensibility with mass appeal, which include flexible seating and a layering of design elements that simultaneously offers a sense of openness with pockets of intimacy. Broughton says that cohesion was key, and a major challenge included creating an unassuming level of comfort in an atmosphere that is decidedly upscale. She says, “We met the challenge with specific design solutions that considered both the elegance and flow of the space, but also its functionality. No matter how great the food is, if the restaurant doesn’t ‘work’ and service lacks, it will not be a success.” These “unglamorous yet utilitarian” elements include visually hidden gas and electrical components, a dumbwaiter, water lines, and high-grade acoustics. 

Great food is at the heart of bb’s kitchen. Thus, Berger, with his love of food, and R+B, with its creative design solutions, collaborated on an open kitchen plan within the relatively tight space. “I love being around food, and I know others do too, so having the chefs at work on beautifully plated food in clear view was essential,” says Berger. Homemade jams and syrups in traditional mason jars line the rear service area shelves, doing double duty to communicate a sense of down-home charm, as well as serving as backlit interior elements.

Artwork also is a major player in bb’s appealing sensibility. The Bergers have been collectors since the 1960s and have a particular fondness for text art, which they felt would be ideal for the space. Images such as “Be Salty” and “Purely Delicious” cover an entry wall, as well as an accent wall behind the bar, literally providing food for thought. “I wanted bb’s to be whimsical and witty, and make people feel like they were getting a top-notch dining experience for a reasonable price. I also wanted locals to have a place to go that would always meet their needs, from breakfast to lunch, dinner and after dinner,” Berger explains.

Broughton cannot say enough about the successful collaboration with Berger, and she is proud of how R+B transformed a space that was decidedly “unrestaurant-like” into a popular, comfortable, and inspiring dining locale. “The experience was very hands-on for all involved, and that’s why it works,” she says. “It was a labor of love, and I believe bb’s will continue to thrive because of it.” 

SOURCE LIST

Who:
Client: Bruce Berger. Architect/ Interior designer: Rowland+Broughton Architecture and Urban Design; Sarah Broughton, AIA & Dana Ganssle, Associate AIA, LEED AP. Contractor: Dana Eppstein Construction, LLC. Engineering: AEC, Architectural. Kitchen: Jacobs Doland. Graphics: Carey Smith and Jane Wagman. Furniture dealer: Mitchell Gold Bob Williams, Ablyss Custom Furnishings, Cape Furniture. Structural: Cole Associates. Photographer: Jason Dewey.

What:
Wallcoverings: Elizabeth Dow, “Girls! Girls! Girls!” (restroom). Paint: Benjamin Moore. Laminate: Wilsonart. Flooring: Parterre Flooring. Carpet/carpet tile: Constantine Ceiling: Whisper Walls. Lighting: Sonneman Boxus Wall Sconce; Custom Lighting by Rowland+Broughton; Rejuvenation Burnside Pendant; Outdoor Lighting by The Paper Lantern Store. Doors: Electric Eye Sliding Door (Exterior/Egress); Flat Panel Door – Painted Maple. Glass: Clear Vu Window Tinting. Window treatments: Shades by Innovative Openings. Workstations: Caeserstone (in lounge); Cherry with Glass Top by Aspen Custom Glass (in kitchen). Lounge seating: Ottomans by Mitchell Gold Bob Williams; Custom Chairs by Ablyss Custom Furnishings. Dining room bar stools: Cape Furniture. Upholstery: Anzea, Copy Cow in Taurus in booths and banquettes. Cafeteria, dining, training tables: GAR Tables. Bar Top: Anzea. Entryway Console Table: Brad Reed Nelson. Architectural woodworking: Stained Cherry Wood Custom. Signage: Arapahoe Sign Arts. Plumbing fixtures: Kohler Hardware; Lacava Sink.

Where:
Location: Aspen, CO. Total floor area: 2,500 sq. ft. (including indoor/outdoor spaces & lounge area annex). No. of floors: 1. Total staff size: 25. Cost/sq. ft.: $220.

 


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