Noyes Brothers and Cutler Building - Public Kitchen & Bar

Occasionally we feature a current project that's "on the boards" here at Wilkus Architects. Each project presents unique architectural opportunities and these posts provide an avenue for discussion. It’s our goal to generate inquiry and conversation with these posts so please comment and share the post below.

When a project involves a historic space and impacts a site with a significant past, we get excited as architects and designers. It's not only an opportunity to create a certain spatial quality within meaningful context, it's also a chance to have our work acknowledge and communicate with the past. Public Kitchen & Bar is a current project with these exciting opportunities, among others.

Owner and operator Carol March worked with Wilkus Architects to design a multi-level restaurant and bar within the historic Noyes Brothers and Cutler Building. The building is adjacent to Mears Park in the Lowertown neighborhood of St. Paul.

With concept development already rolling, Wilkus Architects was brought in to assist with design development, interior design and construction documentation. Without knowledge of prior goals and aspirations, the project presented inherent challenges. However, together with Wilkus Architects, Carol was able to hone in on the specific goals she had in mind for the space.

In retrospect, I realize I wasn’t as involved in the initial design and concept development phases of the project as I would have liked to have been.
— Carol A. March

"In the future, I will be much more involved in the initial design phase to prevent the need for revisions down the line," Carol said. "There is always a learning curve on your first project! I am hopeful that I will have the opportunity to work directly with Wilkus Architects again on another restaurant where we can work together more seamlessly."

Carol noted that her biggest challenge is that there isn't enough time in the day to do all of the things that she would like to. She told us "Some days, I can't even get to my e-mails until I get home at 6 or 7 PM at which time my 'workday' begins."

As project designer, Duane Perry, AIA, CID enjoyed working with Carol and the team at Public Kitchen & Bar. He said, "Carol has been a great client, especially considering it's been a very fast track project." Duane noted that our services were expanded to include interior design while the permit was being issued. "The challenge then became how to maintain the concept as a whole while designing in fragments. Thankfully, Carol was open to all ideas and was active enough to challenge ideas and allow new ideas to shape her concept of the restaurant," he said.

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On the Boards Project Data:

Public Kitchen & Bar