M.B. Post Restaurant by SJ Jones Architects

July 15th, 2011 by retail design blog

From the 1950s until the 1970s, the Manhattan Beach Post Office doled out mail to the local residents and was often a good place to see your neighbors. Now the location is an even better place to meetup as it houses the M.B. Post Restaurant, a hip new restaurant serving up tasty tapas plates and craft beer created by executive chef David LeFevre. Accompanying the well reviewed menu is a modern yet homey interior designed by SJ Jones Architects, who aimed at keeping with the original feel of the post office and the town vernacular by using vintage decor and reclaimed wood.

With the aim of creating a nostalgic throwback, as well as a place where local residents would want to come and hang out, the firm and restaurant’s owners set out to create a space with a uniquely local personality. Additionally, the history of the original post office served as a guiding light throughout the design process, and the help of the Manhattan Beach Historical Society proved especially beneficial in the re-design. After uncovering many of the original concrete walls and layers that had been added since its first construction, they added back markings on the wall to bring an idea of what the post office looked like. They also revealed the old barrel-vaulted ceiling to show off the skeleton of the building.

Then walls were built with reclaimed barn wood and painted like the lifeguard stands and colorfully-customized volleyball posts that line the beach. An old 1954 bicycle was reinvented as a unique light fixture, and other vintage decor lines the walls in celebration of the building’s unique history. Original concrete floors were revealed and freshly stained. Old-fashioned mail slots were used to form room partitions, while dining tables were crafted from reclaimed oak and hand-crafted industrial steel and walnut wood stools swivel to encourage conversation. Large steel and glass sliding doors open the front of the restaurant to the sunny southern California climate.


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