Gray Olive Cafeteria by Cutler, Burnaby – Canada

March 1st, 2017 by retail design blog

Imagine a timeworn greenhouse sitting on a secluded farm amongst warm grain fields. In that familiar place, your fresh produce and herbs are being grown, ready to be hand picked specially for your morning breakfast. This touch of nostalgia started off our interaction with the three Brothers who came together to create Gray Olive. This idea was clear to us: that a farm to table presence had to come to life. With Gray Olive’s appetite for family, and great food, we knew that this space would be more than just a restaurant. Gray Olive is the bridge between earthy intentions, and timeless design. Frosty, clerestory windows at the entry to the space iterate the “deconstructed greenhouse” vibe. Carefully curated coffee plants, and olive shrubs nestle in terracotta planter pots exuding that freshly grown atmosphere that surrounds you. This greenery acts not only as the centerpiece to the community bar top, but also as the backdrop to the grandiose metal grid wall behind the coffee counter. Washes of forest green millwork appear at the core of the space atop tidy white and green mosaic floor tiles.

A large, offset pendant hangs above the coffee counter, almost to impersonate a soft glowing light bulb dangling just above arms reach on the greenhouse ceiling. Subtle details like vertical wood grains, and eased edges are simple construction details you’ll interact with. The long dining banquette, feature counters, and planter bar all share similar details. Details like this were important to this project, and with Pacific Solutions on board, together we were able to hone in on the construction details that are often overlooked. Specialized laser-cut brass icons guide guests to important stopping points around the space, such as the washrooms and the watering tap. Gray Olive is charming in its approach, and the brass accents extend a distinctive subtlety to the wholehearted roots of this cafeteria. Throughout the design process with the three brothers from Gray Olive, we had the pleasure of working with a rather inspiring team. The selection process done by the Gray Olive brothers was important, it was almost as if they were welcoming this team into their family. We worked with Gray Olive to create a space that takes you back to a simpler time, inviting you to taste food that makes you feel like a kid again.

Design: Cutler
Photography: When They Find Us

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