Chinato is a 130 seat restaurant located in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. The setting is the first floor and basement of a turn of the century loft structure. Formerly a jewelry store, the former improvements to the space had been demolished prior to initiation of the design, revealing a backdrop composed of concrete floors and ceilings, and a series of dendriform columns positioned on a 15'-0" center to center grid. The south and west exposures of the first floor had significant connectivity to the street through floor to ceiling glass.
The restaurant takes its design cues from the pan-Italian menu, as well as from the ambiance of a traditional trattoria. However, there is an interpretation where traditional forms and surface treatments are subject to the means and methods of construction that are appropriate to the present day. For example, the vaulted ceilings so typical in Italian architecture are rendered in thin shell construction and the decorative quality of tiled floors is achieved through staining of the existing slabs. All color is drained to the tones of a sepia photograph, creating a nostalgic connection to a turn of the century setting. The graphic design and business papers are also linked to this concept, resulting in a highly consistent patron experience.
The public areas are very open to one another to produce a dynamic environment when one is standing or walking, but through a subtle orchestration of columns, free standing walls and banquette heights the space is transformed so a seated patron is contained in what feels like a series of intimate rooms. Lighting is designed to capture the famous "golden light of Firenze", presenting both the space and its occupants in their most flattering state.
The project is approximately 9200 square feet and was completed at a cost of $1,200,000 inclusive of equipment and furnishings.