Architect: Destree Design Architects, Inc.
Owner: Elm Restaurant Group
Contractor: Harmony Construction Management
Located on the Capitol Square in Madison, Wisconsin, Graft is 4,000 sf and 116 seats. The budget was not specified but came in under one million after construction. Sustainability, quality and community were the key elements emphasized by the client. Given this direction, the architect set out to create warm yet sophisticated gathering place. The inspirational images provided included photos of vineyards, weather-beaten buildings and rustic metal and wood furniture.
The interpretation brought together the elegance of 1940s Paris bistros with grit of industrial salvage. A blanket of weathered brick tile serves as the foundation. Brass, copper and steel provide the neutral palette that’s accented by bold swashes of teal. In the main dining room, the bar takes center stage with its live edge bar top, Tom Dixon Lustre pendant lights and custom steel-pipe bar stools. The opposing wall is illuminated by glowing hive-patterned glass panels punctuating the intimate champagne-velvet banquettes. High ceilings with exposed mechanicals are framed by ornate crown molding in pale metallic bronze.
Overlooking the main dining room from the back is the open kitchen that invites guests to peek into the artistry behind the menu. The lighting is subdued yet dramatic.
The communal toilet rooms are stylish yet playful.
In keeping with the dining area motif, steel pipes, Edison bulbs and rolled steel counters frame the washing stations. Referred to as “saloon meets salon” by the owner, concept and completion of Graft restaurant are woven together seamlessly.
Photos: Tricia Shay Photography