Image by Joseph D. Tran
//3877 captured the unique movement and dynamism of the space through the owners' foundational pillars for their F&B vision.

//3877 Completes Arlington's Latest Wine Bar with Pirouette Café

April 5, 2023
The notion of “whimsical refinement” drove the design concept for first-time restaurateurs.
In late September 2022, husband and wife duo Philippe and Jackie Loustaunau opened the doors of their first restaurant, Pirouette Café in Arlington, Virginia. Longtime residents of Arlington County, the Loustaunaus decided to combine their longstanding love of food and wine and their friendships with winemakers, importers, distributors, farmers and chefs to finally go all-in on their dream to have their very own place around the corner. They tapped local firm //3877 to bring their vision to life.
They felt Arlington lacked an immersive wine experience with an intriguing cuisine and a community feel and set out to fix that. An ideal location within the Ballston community, Pirouette Café sits right on Fairfax Drive on the ground floor of a new apartment building. In fact, apartment residents can access the restaurant without even leaving the building through a door that opens into the wine shop, which seamlessly transitions into the dining experience. With an abundance of natural light and an ideal layout featuring a 3,300-sq-ft interior and a 1,000-sq-ft exterior, the location proved to be a perfect spot.

From the very beginning of the design process, //3877 captured the unique movement and dynamism of the space through the owners’ foundational pillars for their F&B vision: creating an authentic atmosphere with everyday enchantment and intentional sourcing. The expression of these pillars was conversational and effervescent, with the design team driven by key words such as “movement,” “style" and “joie de vivre," landing them on the notion of “whimsical refinement” as their primary design driver.

Upon entry, patrons are immediately drawn in by the chiseled, concrete hostess stand, plush seating arrangements, and pops of color balanced by natural light, creating a cozy environment that leaves room for a sense of mystery as to what awaits beyond. The architecture features clean lines and natural expressions of materiality with concrete floors, pillars, and exposed ceiling alongside neutral hues of black, gray, and brown, with custom millwork and artwork that unexpectedly showcases an array of green, blue, yellow, and red. Within the retail experience, the team maintained that same atmosphere with intentional moments of relaxed lighting, complemented by a layout that encourages movement throughout the space. The wine display is poised, yet playful and not too polished so guests feel welcome, engaged, and maybe even encouraged to head to the dining area and stay awhile.

The front window of the dining space provides bar top seating for those looking to pop in for a glass of wine after work or take a seat after exploring the retail section. At the center of it all, patrons discover a bright and airy environment with intimate seating alongside thoughtfully placed greenery. Further into the dining area, the concrete tasting table facilitates conversations between guests and staff through evocative elements of form, texture, and light. A light and colorful abstract art piece by Przemyslaw Kordys with DAC Art Group floats above it.

Along the back wall of the restaurant is a versatile area ideal for larger parties, with sight lines to the wine shop, tasting table and the kitchen, surrounded by expansive windows. The restrooms provide another point of discovery for guests as //3877 incorporated a dichroic glass geometric luminaire, designed by Australian artist Asaf Zakay, that casts color onto the white walls. Outside, the patio features seating with vibrant colors and warm wood tones, giving the space a natural glow in the day that elegantly transitions to an even warmer atmosphere from string lights that illuminate the patio at night. 

Pirouette Café creates a sense of community by channeling the exquisite taste of owners, the Loustaunaus. This effervescent hub is an exciting new addition to the local scene.

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