Madison, Wisconsin
  • Client
    Rule No. One Hospitality Group (RNO)
  • SQ. FT.
  • Budget
  • Market
  • Year

An existing space was opened up and simplified to create a new home for Amara that matched the restaurant’s contemporary coastal Italian cuisine.

The bar sits at the front of the restaurant by the entrance. Low soft seating adjacent to the bar seating pulls double duty as both a lounge area and a waiting area near the hostess stand. An I-shaped planter bisects the dining area creating four distinct sections at a height that allows views throughout the entire space while moving through it and privacy while seated. Bifolding doors on the back and side walls, which intersect to form the apex of the triangular space, open to fully connect the inside space to the patio creating an indoor/outdoor dining experience reminiscent of the Italian coast from which the restaurant’s menu draws its inspiration.  

A clean yet rich material palette reinforces the relaxed atmosphere while also creating visual cues to differentiate areas in the open space. Dark stained wood frames the bar, windows, and the back wall. Contrasting white washed shelves and wood paneling are a delicate backdrop for accents on display. Medium toned wood is used to draw attention to focal areas. The patterned wood along the back wall is backed with a felt panel and gaps are left between the wood slats to assist in noise control. Backlighting highlights the material’s richness in the material and warms the otherwise cool space. The greenery, caramel leather banquets and airy orb lights all also serve to soften and energize the space.

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