Jun 11, 2015

New Digs: Seattle’s Meat & Bread

By Laura Aguilera-Flemming

Earlier this spring, Vancouver-based sandwich shop Meat & Bread opened a new location in Seattle’s rapidly redeveloping Capitol Hill neighborhood—their first U.S. location, and the biggest one to date. In just eight months, the design was executed from “top to tail” says Craig Stanghetta, founder of Vancouver’s Ste. Marie, the studio that designed both the Seattle space and the original Vancouver location. With help from Seattle construction firm Dovetail General Contractors, project architect Babienko Architects, and metal shop Architectural Elements, the light-filled space came together with regional flair. Designed with a similar ethos as the initial location (there are now three in B.C.), M&B’s Seattle digs embrace the rugged and historic character of its building, a 1917-built warehouse. Aside from adding lighting, Stanghetta and team left the original concrete wall behind the cook line untouched to highlight the juxtaposition of new and old, or what Stanghetta calls “the best of both worlds.” Other interior details include elements of bespoke art and lighting, including a custom standing lamp, bar stools, and architectural detailing on the ornate matte black walls. A famous Lou Reed quote laser-cut into the back wall adds some pop culture flair: “One chord is fine. Two chords are pushing it. Three chords and you’re into jazz.” The spacious 2,000-square-foot café provides plenty of seating and a retail area in the center dedicated to merchandise such as meat rubs and condiments. Whether stopping in for a quick bite or staying to experience the laid-back atmosphere, Meat & Bread offers a unique dining experience complimented by a daily selection of four hefty sandwich options—including a grilled cheese for brave vegetarians venturing into the carnivorous fold.

“We wanted the space to feel like the home of a cool friend—one who can cook like a gifted chef, has a great record collection, cares about art, and has a laissez-faire attitude but sharp and focused taste,” says designer Craig Stanghetta of Vancouver’s Ste. Marie studio, describing his design inspiration. 

Meat & Bread’s 2,000-square-foot space was constructed with a variety of raw and rustic materials, including miles of white oak, iron, concrete, unfinished brass, coarse clay-based tile, and matte black-painted metalwork.

A variety of lighting designed by Stanghetta appears throughout the space. The barn door track-light pendants, located under the mezzanine, were designed by Juno Lighting and purchased through ConTech Lighting. According to Stanghetta, the pendants are strategically hung to articulate the height, length, and flow of the space.  

There are no secret ingredients at Meat & Bread. All spices, seasonings, and sandwich components are visible to customers within the shop. According to Stanghetta, “Meat & Bread’s core philosophy is to not ‘hide’ the back of house, but rather to maintain a degree of openness and transparency.” Having an open and connected space speaks to the simplicity of the core ethos of Meat & Bread. 

“We're extremely happy with how this place turned out, and have loved working in Seattle,” Stanghetta notes. “The food, art, and design scene is a great inspiration. We're excited to do it again for the next location—coming soon.” Look for Meat & Bread’s second Seattle location, at 400 Fairview Ave North between downtown and Lake Union.

Photo Credit: Colin Bishop

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