For nearly two decades, Stephen Jones has been designing restaurants, hotels and spas all around the world. But some of his newest endeavors reflect just how challenging re-launching a restaurant can be.
Recently Jones took on the re-branding and re-launch of the iconic La Brea Bakery after it moved half a block down from its original location in Los Angeles. Jones facilitated a seamless blend of traditional ambience and artifacts from the original bakery with a refreshed logo and new “jewel case” displaying the luscious array of pastries and breads.
He also revived Mister Donut, the largest donut chain in Japan, after it experienced declining profits in recent years. Jones borrowed the “jewel case” concept from La Brea Bakery and rebuilt the structure into an inviting shop complete with a Japanese garden-esque entrance. Opened in July, Mister Donut now has a revived image that will be used as a prototype for future Mister Donut shops across Asia.
“Designing a restaurant is like designing a sports car,” says architect Stephen Francis Jones. “You might have a sleek looking body that needs a big engine and has to perform at top speed all the time. How do I keep it sexy? How do I keep it running well? How do I keep it adequate to the task of satisfying customers?”
Jones, who is well-known for his local restaurant designs such as Wolfgang Puck’s Spago, MB Post in Manhattan Beach, and the retro chain Lucky Strike Lanes, continues to be one of the burgeoning food scene’s secret weapons.
Now in its eighteenth year, SFJones Architects is renowned among Los Angeles architecture firms for designing spectacular entertainment and dining destinations that radiate fresh, balanced aesthetics, making bold statements for national and international companies. “When people go out to dinner, their expectation is to have a stimulating sensual experience involving taste, ambiance and social interaction. My objective is to make the visual experience as delicious as the food,” says Jones.
The firm’s recent restaurant projects include upscale casual restaurant Del Frisco’s Grille in Irvine, Pasadena, and Santa Monica; Greenleaf restaurant in Hollywood; American Tea Room in both Beverly Hills and Downtown Los Angeles; two Simmzy’s restaurants in Burbank and Huntington Beach—projects spearheaded by the same owner as the famous MB Post—and the rebranding of more Java Houses in Kenya. Up next are two more Greenleaf restaurants in Laguna Beach and Pasadena; the Tin Roof Bistro in Marina Del Rey; and a new concept restaurant in Honolulu, HI, featuring star chef Peter Merriman.
Whether creating an instantly-recognizable identity for national restaurants or cutting-edge quarters for a high-end dining destination, Jones creates dynamic environments for dining, relaxation, business and pleasure.