Housed in the former Checker Taxi building, El Che Bar is a spirited Argentine-American restaurant that exudes the sultry rhythm of Buenos Aires. To successfully insert the new concept within this iconic building, several cues were taken from the facade, including the restaurant’s name. A portion of the existing exterior sign, “CHE”, remains back lit as a beacon to the evolving neighborhood while paying homage to the building’s former historical use. Checkerboard floor tile, common in Argentina, and glazed brick are introduced into the design as a reference to the facade with the intention of establishing a thoughtful continuity between interior and exterior.
The visual focus of the restaurant is the expansive live fire hearth. As the dominant element of the open kitchen, it is on axis with the new operable windows on the facade and is revealed gradually as one moves through the space. An “El Che Bar” belt buckle discovered by the chef in Argentina is mounted above the hearth to reinforce the brand.
The open interior is subtly divided into more intimate spaces by black stained millwork, salvaged corrugated glass set into steel frames, and dramatic ceiling elements. Wood lath found on the perimeter walls is repurposed as a finish material to offer textural and acoustical qualities. Additional lath salvaged from the demolition process was installed on the ceiling above the bar and dining area. To mimic the dining chair leg profile, laser cut steel is incorporated into the banquette and table leg design.
Greenview Construction Management, Inc.