2017 AIA Award Submission
Restaurants, Retail and Commercial
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W2A Design Group designed this unique eatery in Allentown’s West End in an effort to fill a gap in casual but upscale dining opportunities for both the nearby neighbors and the Muhlenberg College population. Serving coffee and premise-made baked goods, salads, sandwiches and smoothies throughout the day, as well as “grab & go” ready-to-eat, prepared-to-order and catered family meals, “Café Frais” strives to fill the need for quality, fresh, and budget-friendly dining in a fun contemporary industrial decor.
A full wall of windows welcomes not only those seeking a respite from the business of their day, but also invites curious passers-by in for a treat. No matter the time of day, the friendly atmosphere cannot be missed, offering both physical and emotional nourishment. Patrons can join old friends or make new acquaintances around the communal dining table, watch the chef prepare their meal in the open kitchen from a seat at the counter, or relax out on the patio during pleasant weather. The ambiance in this down-to-earth yet interesting café is underscored by a selection of unique durable materials including exposed brick walls, resilient heritage wood plank flooring, patterned ceramic tile floor inset, exposed black pipe & wood slab shelving, quartz countertops and bold hand-crafted light fixtures, all with a slightly edgy retro, industrial steam-powered style.
The project also features a Second Floor apartment and a Self-service Storage facility in the Lower Level.