California Pizza Kitchen Strengthens its Dinner Business via Sustainable Design

Sept. 8, 2009

One of the best investments a restaurant owner can make in today’s market is to reconcept or remodel his/her existing restaurant. A design overhaul of an existing concept can give the restaurant new life, while updating an already successful concept unlocks its full potential.

In 1992, California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) hired Aria Group Architects Inc. to design its Oak Brook Center location in Oak Brook, IL. This early-era CPK concept incorporated glazed black and white tiles, polished stainless steel, and bright yellow accents – a style developed in California as a fresh, clean look perfect for promoting lunch business. In 2003, California Pizza Kitchen asked Aria Group to update its look with a new, contemporary prototype design to enhance the restaurant’s expanded dinner menu, bar selection, and featured wines. CPK’s food is now enjoyed in a modern, inviting atmosphere that’s composed of rich colors and natural materials. These include deep wood tones, rugged stone, and polished granite, all strategically lit with warm, comfortable lighting.

At the heart of CPK’s rejuvenated concept is still its trademark pizza oven, now clad in vibrant yellow glass tile and dramatically illuminated. The modernized oven, with its fire-lit hearth producing mouthwatering aromas, is a superb centerpiece for its new wood and polished granite bar. The bar wraps the exhibition cooking area and provides the ideal setting for patrons to enjoy the food, the wine, and the extensive cocktail options, or to watch the game. A grand, internally glowing glass wine cabinet, custom designed and framed with millwork and stone at the host area, displays its diverse wine selection. This creates a bold and distinguished entry to its reconcepted restaurants, as well as its new locations

As of 2009, California Pizza Kitchen, has already taken advantage of remodeling most of its 250-plus locations; with the environment in mind as well as operational cost savings, it has recently implemented more sustainable design elements. Over the last six years, CPK’s updating program has proven consistently to be a key strategy in cultivating the business’ thriving success nationally and abroad.

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