Gale is a 2,100 SF interior restaurant upfit project on the ground floor of the Meeting Street Lofts building. The owner envisioned an intimate 40-seat family style restaurant with an open kitchen concept and clay dome pizza oven. While the style of cuisine centers around Italian staples, the menu will be an extension of the chef and his wife, Mari. The duo both have experience in Michelin fine dining, but what they enjoy most is unrefined, guilty-pleasure, comfort foods. Creative dishes such as house-made pig head mortadella corn dog or picnic style shrimp and corn pasta salad will form the menu. Owner Brett Chizinski remarked, “Dishes will come out fast from the kitchen, and we encourage sharing, using your hands, and treating it like a meal at home.”
The Middleton Group responded to Chizinski’s concept with a clean, industrial, and streamlined design focused on delivering a dining experience that allows guests to focus on their food and its artful preparation. In designing in such a small space, a simple palette of materials and restrained design elements were chosen to help delineate space without adding visual distraction. Originally devised as a space-saving solution, a food prep area in the mezzanine above provides guests with the unique experience of seeing their meal through all stages of the cooking process. A feature wall constructed of white oak visually connects the kitchen and bar areas, while the board pattern creates an arrow which draws the eye straight to the kitchen. In order to make the 22′ tall space feel more intimate, a series of steel pipes running from the side wall to the exposed concrete deck above define the bar space and create a lower visual plain, but still allow patrons an unobstructed view of the kitchen. Carefully selected furniture, fixtures, and finishes, such as leather, wood, cork, and soft grey upholstery are in keeping with the industrial feel of the space, but allow patrons to feel as if they are enjoying a meal in their own home.
The Middleton Group was proud to help Brett and his wife Mari create the design they have been dreaming of for years. We can’t wait for Gale to elevate the echelon of comfort food in Charleston while becoming a mainstay in the expanding community.