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Seoul Bros. is not your average neighborhood Korean restaurant. Whereas in the past, restaurants may have turned to statues or images of monuments set in exotic scenery to create an Asian vibe, the restaurant is set on establishing a more modern-day environment.

The quick-service eatery in Pasadena, Calif., uses simple lines, modern materials, elements from current-day Korea such as collage of images of Korean lifestyle and furniture that fosters community and comfort.

“We wanted to impart a sense of design that gives a welcoming, relaxing and accessible environment,” says Sat Garg, principal of Santa Monica, Calif.-based AkarStudios, the firm in charge of the design.

To do this, the design team furnished the space with a large communal table, sofa seating and modern wall graphics. Food production is the focal point – an open exhibition kitchen that Garg says is reminiscent of an Asian street food market allows customers to watch food being freshly prepared in a performance setting.

This quick-service eatery has also shunned a decorating style of branded logos, posters and menu displays. We maintained a modern flair with a graphic floral wall mural and a menu board in a clean translucent material,” says Garg.

Furniture pieces color-coordinate with the decor, while a wood-covered ceiling and brown flooring continue the contemporary sophistication.

Client: Seoul Bros., Pasadena, Calif.

Design/Architect: AkarStudios, Santa Monica, Calif. — Sat Garg, design principal;

Chris Jones, project designer; Katie Ellis, designer; Sean Morris, graphics

General Contractor: Cementum, Hacienda Heights, Calif.

Food Service Consultant: Culinary Edge, San Francisco; Robert Rooze, Los Angeles

Flooring: Arizona Tile, Tuscon, Ariz.

Furniture: Bontempi, Los Angeles; Contract Design Source, Los Angeles

Lighting: Europhase, Toronto; Janmar, Covina, Calif.

Menu Board: Tako Tyko, Los Angeles

Signage/Graphics: AkarStudios, Santa Monica, Calif.; Colortek, Culver City, Calif.;

Kosakura & Associates, Santa Ana, Calif.

Materials: CaesarStone, Van Nuys, Calif.; 3-Form, Salt Lake City

Photography: Derek Rath, Los Angeles; Randall Michelson, Los Angeles




MasterClass: ‘Re-Sparkling’ Retail: Using Store Design to Build Trust, Faith and Brand Loyalty

HOW CAN WE EMPOWER and inspire senior leaders to see design as an investment for future retail growth? This session, led by retail design expert Ian Johnston from Quinine Design, explores how physical stores remain unmatched in the ability to build trust, faith, and loyalty with your customers, ultimately driving shareholder value.

Presented by:
Ian Johnston
Founder and Creative Director, Quinine Design

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