TUSK

CAN A RESTAURANT BECOME A TRANSPARENT THEATER?

Our fascination with - and concern about - food and methods of production have arguably reached new heights. Jay Murray, former chef at Grill 23 in Boston, asked us to design a space for his forthcoming restaurant in Massachusetts, centered on an honesty of ingredients and preparation that extends to the name itself: TUSK, or Trust Us Kitchen. In addition to assembling a warm color palette combining new and reused materials, we questioned how the layout of the restaurant itself could support the idea of transparency in production - and even turn it into theatre.

Our design began with a precise entry for the visitor: walking along a runway that brings guests behind the bar to meet the host and watch the performance at a finishing table beyond. The runway is screened but see-through, allowing guests to interact with bartenders as they wait in line, seeing the bar through glasses and bottles and providing an unusual perspective of a common space. The finishing table acts as stage, with diners seated around it, watching as servers and chefs put final touches on their dishes, and intimate booths and tables are available for guests wishing to turn inward to their fellow diners and focus on tastes and smells at the table itself.