The nice people at St. Louis At Home Magazine named SPACE a finalist for not one, but two projects in the Restaurant category for their 2015 Architect & Designer Awards. Both Mission Taco Soulard and Wheelhouse are housed in majestic old buildings, and our design teams approached each project intent on highlighting the natural beauty of each space. (To see the completed images of Wheelhouse, click here.)

Not a year after designing the inaugural Mission Taco Joint on Delmar Boulevard, Adam and Jason Tilford challenged SPACE to create the same festive, casual atmosphere in their newest location in Soulard. Led by Tom Niemeier, the designers worked to preserve and enhance the former warehouse’s original architectural features, including exposed brick, tin ceiling, skylights, and overhead doors in what would be the dining room. To create more intimate, cozy spaces within the large restaurant, the team designed and built a canopy from reclaimed 150-year-old wood around the centrally-located bar. This separated different groups of diners while maintaining the vibrant flow of energy in the restaurant. The team selected different chairs for the small seating area next to the front garage door to create another unique sense of place within the bustling restaurant.

The architects used the same vintage wood to build the rustic “crates” of the backbar, as well as all of the dining tables. Local artist Craig Downs painted a mural along the back wall, and it captures the happy, celebratory spirit the Tilfords desired. To complement the cheerful mural, the adjacent wood elements and the dining tables feature blue- and red-stained stripes. A California-style mission bell hangs in the centrally-located skylight, and the staff rings it from time to time (usually when they score a nice tip at their table). In addition to the tables and bar canopy, the architects designed, built and installed the maître d’ stand, table bases, bar, booths, and “streetlight” light fixtures. Check out some pictures we took of the finished space:

908 Lafayette Ave | St. Louis, MO 63104