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Client Confidential: Action Heroes

(March 2017) posted on Fri Mar 24, 2017

She’s the director, he’s the producer—together, Jon Bortz and Andrea Dawson Sheehan pull back the curtain on the perfect client/designer relationship.


By Mary Scoviak

click an image below to view slideshow

Dirty Habit
Dirty Habit, Washington, D.C. Photo: David Phelps

ANDREA: So what’s the next big design challenge?

JON: We’re going to see unique, casual spaces that can serve as restaurants as well as venues that enable us to move events out of formal ballrooms and dedicated function areas. The restaurant business is hard. Margins are small. Designing in the flexibility to subdivide an F&B destination so that we can have multiple things going on gives the operator more opportunities to layer in different revenue streams. The key is that the restaurant space itself has to be cool and financially successful on its own—not just in the context of the hotel. We want the neighbors to make our restaurants their own so we can draw the local experience inside the hotel. That makes the hotel environment that much richer and more stimulating.



We’ll be considering more concepts such as Dirty Habit in the Kimpton Hotel Monaco, Washington D.C. The new exterior courtyard and bar can hold up to 800 people for anything from a rehearsal dinner to a business event, depending on their needs, but it also works as a nightclub and as a restaurant. We can subdivide the space for privacy or open it up for more of a display. People probably think we’re out of our minds to spend $8 million on that renovation. We’ll see.

Hotel Zetta
Hotel Zetta, San Francisco. Photo: Christian Horan

ANDREA: What other restaurant rules need to be broken?


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