Fargo, North Dakota
JL Beers has a unique layout and concept that promotes quick customer turnaround with limited amount of seating. Their restaurants are limited to about 45 seats—on purpose. The idea behind this is to create an intimate, fun atmosphere that customers can appropriate for lunch, after work, or during happy hour.
Since the footprint is required to be small, the design can take advantage of a prime location that, because of its small site, other restaurants would not be able to capitalize on. In doing this, the JL Beers restaurant brings downtown in town, lending its historic qualities to its whole surrounding landscape. Several deliberate design elements go into creating this custom JL Beers ambiance. The exterior is meant to give the impression that this building is the last remaining storefront from a long gone downtown. It uses refined masonry at the front and common brick at the sides and rear, complete with in-filled widow openings throughout the back. A fire escape stair provides a practical purpose to access the roof while at the same time adding to the look and feel of a downtown building.
The interior finishes bring together historic character and the amenities of a modern, yet intimate, dining experience. The exposed brick and pressed metal ceilings harkens back to days gone by. The mod ceramic tiles and painted MDF panels with crisp metal reveals not only add detail, but reflect the vibrancy of inhabiting a historic building—one that, if you stop to think about it, seems as if it has always been there.
JLG has now designed a number of stand-alone and fit-out restaurants for the chain, all with the same architectural intent.