Design Aesthetically Conveys Sharky’s Mission to Create an Experience Where People Can “Feel Good About Eating”
Sharky’s Woodfired Mexican Grill, a premium fast-casual restaurant and lifestyle brand with 23 locations in California, has debuted its first freestanding restaurant in Northridge, Calif. The new restaurant, which pulls together design elements tested in five other locations, is the first Sharky’s built from the ground up. The enhanced design reflects its brand image and award-winning menu rooted in innovative and flavorful Mexican recipes made with natural, organic and local ingredients, which meet their standards for flavorful, inventive and high-quality food offerings.
The Southern California brand, founded in 1992, offers hand-crafted, Mexican inspired choices such as burritos filled with organic beans and rice and all-natural, mesquite-grilled chicken or beef; marinated, mesquite-grilled organic tofu tacos; superfood salads with organic greens and quinoa; stone-fired pizzas, and many other hand-crafted, fresh and nutritionally dense choices.
Sharky’s fans can pair the restaurant’s unique array of handcrafted seasonal beverages with their meals. Rotational beverages range from craft beer and refreshing Sangria to a flavorful selection of lemonades including Watermelon Basil, Pineapple Lime, Blueberry Mint, Strawberry Cilantro, Honeydew Cucumber, and infused teas, including Hibiscus Ginger Green Tea, Cinnamon Orange Black Tea and Pineapple Ginger Tropical Tea.
“Our new Sharky’s in Northridge aesthetically conveys everything about our brand and our mission to create a dining experience where people feel good about eating,” said Steven Paperno, founder and CEO, Sharky’s Woodfired Mexican Grill. “Since we opened our first restaurant in 1992, we’ve set out to change the way people think about the ingredients in their food when dining out. Our new design is entirely reflective of this philosophy with an environment that integrates both natural and contemporary elements to create a modern yet warm and inviting experience.”
Located at 18426 Nordhoff Street across from California State University, Northridge, the new Sharky’s replaced an abandoned and aging fast food restaurant, in an area that has been undergoing beautification and revitalization efforts for several years. “The landowner wanted a restaurant partner that illustrated the rise of the community and our brand was ideally suited for this,” said Paperno.
The new look incorporates natural elements such as sandblasted Douglas Fir beams, Carrera marble counters and reclaimed wood throughout the interior, juxtaposed with contemporary design features including galvanized steel tables and oversize glass mason jar light fixtures. Sharky’s design team incorporated recycled or reclaimed elements both inside and outside the restaurant, such as a 99 percent, recycled plastic wood alternative on the exterior, installed variable speed motors in oven hoods and air conditioning units to improve energy consumption, and used thermalized insulated window glass and mechanized window coverings that are activated by sunlight to reduce building heat load.
Soaring 20-foot ceilings and two-story windows create an elevated sense of openness with separate dining spaces within the restaurant that allow for intimacy and increased comfort. Based on preference, guests can choose to dine in cozy, dark green tufted leather booths, at an elevated dining bar with prime TV viewing, or at a community table — whichever suits their needs on any particular visit. Commissioned artwork throughout the restaurant includes black-and-white food photos to further reinforce Sharky’s use of fresh ingredients.
“Sharky’s attracts a wide range of guests, and we wanted to ensure that whether you’re dining solo on a lunch break or with a large group of family and friends, you would find a comfortable space just for you,” said David Goldstein, COO, Sharky’s Woodfired Mexican Grill.
The open kitchen, which is situated near the entrance to showcase the Sharky’s made-from-scratch preparation and cooking, was upgraded and designed to enhance operations and speed food delivery without compromising quality or flavor.
The focal point of the exterior is a sky-high, sloping roofline comprised of architectural Douglas Fir awnings, a distinctive look welcoming guests into the restaurant. The outdoor patio features comfortable seating and a communal fire pit, perfect for relaxing over great food while spending time with family and friends.