In the past few weeks, we’ve been watching the walls of Homeroom go up with astonishing speed. As we see our dream being built, it’s hard to believe that it was almost exactly a year ago that we (Allison and Erin) met up in a café and decided to open a restaurant together (even harder to believe is that at that point we had known each other for only nine months).
Initially we’d meet up to throw around ideas, recipes, designs—there were so many things that we wanted our restaurant to be. Months later, when we finally found the perfect location for our dream to take root, it came in the form of a completely empty box—a blank slate. No walls. No electricity. No nothing.
The task of making a restaurant out of a big empty box is simultaneously exhilarating and terrifying. Especially for people who have never done it before and have about 1/3 of the budget necessary to properly do such a thing.
We knew that we wanted our space to reflect the dual elements we love about the name Homeroom—the warmth of a room in one’s house as well as the playfulness of being a school-age kid. Neither of us had ever designed anything before and had no idea how to successfully pull this off while simultaneously creating a functional kitchen and restaurant that comply with all the municipal codes. This is where Keith and Marites came in.
Better known as Abueg & Morris Architects, Keith and Marites are the people responsible for turning our vague concepts into concrete realities. Keith is a technical expert who helped us figure out how to create a functional kitchen in our tiny space, and who walked us through the complexities of making a restaurant comply with the building and health codes (as a side note, there are some really crazy rules lying around those code books). Marites is the design guru who was able to understand our vision and come up with things like color schemes and lighting design to reflect the feeling we want the space to have.
There are so many little details that go into a restaurant that we would never have thought of had Keith and Marites not been there to walk us through it. What height should tables and chairs be so that they are the most comfortable to eat at? How do you make a bathroom handicap accessible? What can you do to make a restaurant not too loud when people are trying to talk to one another? All the details can make your head spin, and without experienced architects to guide us Homeroom may have been be one big fat disaster.
So after all of that guidance, what are some of the exciting things we’re in the process of building right now? Well, the space is going to be filled with a combination of colors put together by Marites, which are the perfect blend of vintage charm and homey warmth. We are going to have a partially open kitchen so that we can see all of our neighbors and friends while we cook for them, and so that our customers feel like they walked into our kitchen—and not just a restaurant. And our 11-foot long community table is going to anchor the front of the restaurant and invite people to get to know each other. The photos below will give you a peek into what’s going on behind our taped up windows:
We have more photos of our progress on our facebook page! And we’ll keep the posts coming as the construction continues.