by Sarah Jenkinson, Director of Design at Harrison
Restaurants provide an opportunity for people to share culinary and cultural experiences to make lasting memories with friends and family alike. Fogo de Chão offers guests a unique dining experience that goes beyond a traditional restaurant setting and is inspired by Southern Brazilian hospitality and the culinary art of churrasco – butchering, simply seasoning and roasting high-quality cuts of meat over an open flame.
Curating cherished moments for guests remains every restaurant’s focal point. While staying true to the same brand DNA and guest experience, restaurants must have the ability to adapt to their surroundings to stand out in each of the markets they serve. At Harrison, we develop designs that tailor a brand’s vision to a specific market so that we can bring a sense of finding to every location.
Fogo de Chão tasked Harrison with developing a welcoming, warm and timeless design for its newest flagship experience in Coral Gables, Florida that reflects the Brazilian hospitality for which the brand is known. As Fogo’s trusted design partner, we worked to elevate all areas including the interior design, architecture, employee uniforms, logos and packaging. Understanding their 40 years of rich history, we were determined to help show Fogo’s roots in every step of the guest’s journey with new design elements, including Brazilian artwork, deep accent colors and rich upholstery textures.
In addition to a Fogo restaurant, the Coral Gables location will feature The Butchery and Next Level Cigar Lounge, two destinations new to Fogo in the U.S., to offer guests an elevated experience that leverages the brand’s core equities of butchery and Brazilian hospitality. The restaurant will include a mixed use of indoor and outdoor dining spaces with natural wood finishes, dramatic chandeliers across a vaulted ceiling, soaring wine cases and dry-aged meat cabinets for in-house aging.
Guests can enjoy a glass of South American wine and charcuterie in The Butchery as they consult with Fogo’s expert butchers – their gaucho chefs – on the best cut of meat, which will then be freshly carved and packaged to grill at home. Bottles of South American wines, artisanal cheeses and other Brazilian-inspired menu items will be available to enjoy around the butcher’s table or for purchase. Each butchered cut is packaged with a custom seal that brings a sense of ceremony when unwrapping the items at home, as well as a menu card that includes video links with a cooking demonstration by Fogo’s executive chef.
The innovative style of the new flagship in Coral Gables serves as inspiration for all other future Fogo restaurants. Similar to the uniqueness of the curated dining experience at Fogo, each location’s design is tailored to the aesthetic of the surrounding community. Fogo’s upcoming relocation in Austin, Texas, located on the corner of Congress and 2nd Street, features a striking design with panoramic views of the city. Upon arrival, guests will see warm pendant lighting, a modern bar area, an open air churrasco grill and a rooftop Next Level Lounge. The location pays homage to Austin’s landscape, giving the restaurant local authenticity and community appeal.
In keeping with Chicago’s metropolitan aesthetic, Harrison was charged with creating a standout, ground-up building design for the upcoming Oak Brook location on the intersection of Spring Road and 22nd Street. Key design elements include a timeless, loft-style entry, high architectural ceiling features, dry-aged meat cabinets, extensive wine displays and an open patio with firepits for al fresco dining.
We analyze each guest journey meticulously and design features that fit within each market. With no two Fogo de Chão designs being the same, guests have even more reason to visit different locations and make their own personal discoveries each time. Through storytelling, textures and details, we put the guest at the center of Fogo’s design elements.
For more information, please visit https://www.harrison.hn.
Sarah Jenkinson is the Director of Design and leads the global design team at Harrison. Jenkinson has over 21 years’ experience in the global design practice throughout the world, designing spaces in retail, stadia, food & beverage, leisure, and workplace. In addition to her work on Buttercup and Fogo de Chao, she has designed some iconic branded experiences for LEGO brand store and downtown Orlando, ODEON Leicester Square, Aquascutum Regent Street London, Arsenal FC, Ascot Race Course ‘On 5′ restaurant and the Regeneration of the London Olympic Stadium.