A typical day at Zebu Forno in Holmdel, N.J., is filled with customers chatting, reading the paper, checking e-mail in leather easy chairs or gathering for a light lunch. There’s no pressure to leave, says co-founder and president Andrew Gennusa, who started the chain in 2001. And with free WiFi, flat screens, satellite music and an atmosphere that’s as relaxed and cool as a reggae festival, why would they?
The European-style bakery and café, which offers everything from fresh-baked breads to quiche, prides itself on its store concept of “food as theater,” meaning the bakery is front-and-center so customers can watch the bakers at work. Stainless-steel shelving holds breads, pastries and other food goods. Behind the bakery area is an exposed brick wall with the café’s logo spray-painted to look distressed.
For an even more unpolished look, designers at Zebu Forno’s in-house design and construction department left the ceiling two-thirds exposed and used low-voltage track lighting for a loft-style appeal.
Café-goers can choose from conventional and bar top tables in a rigid gray flooring material with wood rims or groupings of Indonesian roll back leather chairs. Original murals by New Jersey artist Gregg Hinlicky trim the seating area walls.
Client: Redhawk Foodservices Inc., Middletown, N.J. -- Andrew Gennusa, president; Ryan Timmons, general manager
Design/General Contractor: Zebu Forno Franchise LLC, Design & Construction Department, Red Bank, N.J.
Audio/Visual: DMX Music System, Seattle
Ceilings: USG, Chicago
Fixtures: Inter Metro Industries, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
Flooring: Twinoaks Flooring, Long Branch, N.J.; Epoxy Flooring LLC, Forked River, N.J.
Furniture: Lonseal Inc., Carson, Calif.; Platypus, Shrewsbury, N.J.
Lighting: Capitol Lighting, Eatontown, N.J.
Signage/Graphics/Custom Murals: Gregg Hinlicky Studio, Toms River, N.J.
Wallcoverings: Benjamin Moore Paints, Montvale, N.J.
Covered Countertops: Lonseal Inc., Carson, Calif.
Pavalier Deck Oven: Sebp, Portes-Les-Valence, France
Photography: Michael Sypniewski, Brick, N.J.