< Back to Our Work

Companion Cafe

Companion Cafe

9781 Clayton Road
Saint Louis, MO  63124

Interior Design
General Contracting
Custom Fabrication
Furniture Selection

Companion Cafe is an institution. Not only do they have incredible bread and sweet baked treats, they also offer fabulous breakfasts, soups, salads, and sandwiches. Situated in a popular shopping area in the heart of Ladue, Companion is always — and we mean always — busy. To keep downtime to a minimum, SPACE’s design and construction teams worked together to transform the space in 9 short days. 

Owners Jodi and Josh Allen came to SPACE for a visual refresh and to help work out some of their growing pains. They wanted to preserve the warmth and charm of the unique space, but they also requested a more contemporary European aesthetic. While tackling the aesthetics, we addressed dining circulation in the tight quarters, water sneaking into the restaurant at the entry, and improving storage and catering prep.

The most significant change was reconfiguring the back line and guest queueing line. We worked closely with Jodi to develop a new back wall that worked for her team, but was visually clean. Print signage was replaced with two TV screens, and our fabrication team built new illuminated bread storage. To accommodate catering orders and food delivery services, a takeout window was added, along with ceiling-mounted shelving. All of the backbar casework was replaced, and we moved the reach-in refrigeration unit and other grab-and-go items to the queueing line. We also built a half wall to demarcate the line so seated guests on the other side would feel separate from guests waiting to order..

For both efficiency and sustainability, we preserved what we could of the original space, most notably the floor. We gave it a good sanding and a new wash of warm gray to contrast with the white oak above. The wood at the entry was replaced with a black tile installed in a herringbone pattern. The pendant lights at the window also remained. Rounded out with supplemental lighting, a fresh coat of paint, and new furniture, the new and improved Companion Cafe’s new design will work well and look great for years to come.