Friends Only


Friends Only was born of a local family restaurant owner who was open to change, obsessed with quality, and sensitive to the world around him. The project started with the food and the focus on the different textures and scales that could be interpreted in the materials. The organization of the space required a usefulness allowing a smooth workflow. The finishes had to support Ray’s vision of interactive hospitality which was more in scale to residential than commercial interiors. The herringbone oak floor, leather upholstery exuded a sumptuous touch, while the etched porcelain wall panels, seagrass wall coverings and beveled tile provided a crisp visual counterpoint. Lighting created a stage, not for the chefs, but for the food where the fish, meat, and vegetable compositions are the players. Friends Only is a respite from the urban milieu, a fountain of warmth and the essence of an izakaya.

TYPOLOGY Food Service
date Autumn 2022
materials DuChateau flooring, Ecogrip service flooring, Zaniboni & Tech Lighting, WAC luminaries, Seaport stainless, Heston cook line, Pseudo Studio custom millwork, Ann Sacks tile, Armstrong metalworks ceilings, Brewster & Coir wall coverings, DWR loose furnishings


Architect Elmer Lin, Hong Liu
Mechanical Engineer MHC Engineers
Food Service Consultant Design West Partnership
Contractor Phase 2 Builders
Photography Brad Knipstein, Elmer Lin