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RSC Architects Completes Design Work on The Office Tavern Grill in Ridgewood, New Jersey

RSC Architects (RSC) is proud to announce the completion of the firm’s design work on The Office Tavern Grill, which recently re-opened at 32-34 Chestnut Street within Ridgewood, New Jersey.

This 6,800 s.f. renovation updated and re-envisioned Ridgewood’s neighborhood dining establishment. Its new features include a modern bar with forty rotating beers on tap; a new kitchen with an open pizza oven; a full renovation of the back-of-house spaces to improve efficiency; and a new façade, creating an enlivened street presence with improved signage, lighting, and finishes.

“As the Architect-of-Record for this project, RSC was able to bring the restaurant up-to-date, incorporating modern hospitality trends that appeal to a wider range of customers,” says RSC Architects’ Senior Project Manager, Ralph Walker. “We were able to blend technical restaurant elements, including point-of-sale and low-wattage signage, with high-end aesthetics to create a welcoming atmosphere and a more efficient establishment that is consistent with the updated brand.”

RSC’s scope included full architectural services – the coordination of the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, structural, and fire protection engineering, as well as the detailed design of the kitchen, bar, and other support areas. RSC partnered with Jackson Creative Group, who provided interior design services, and KEA Engineers for the necessary MEP updates.

The design blends classic “Americana Tavern” features, including heavy wood trim and exposed fasteners, with updated design elements like stylized graphics, chalkboards, integrated liquor displays, and monitors. The restaurant’s design both reinforces its historic roots and highlights the traditional charm of the Village of Ridgewood.

A custom open pizza oven was also placed in the dining room to not only utilize the kitchen space more efficiently, but to also create a showpiece for diners who are sitting nearby.

“Our Ridgewood location is such a beloved restaurant and a great neighborhood place, and we believe the community loves the newly-revamped Office Tavern Grill,” said Steve Baliva, Vice President of Operations of the 40North Restaurant Group, the restaurant’s new owner. “We have so many new and exciting offerings for our guests that The Office Tavern Grill is quickly becoming a favorite in Ridgewood again.”

The updated kitchen includes all new equipment, walk-in coolers, an updated point-of-sale, a kitchen order, sound and security systems. RSC worked closely with the equipment vendors, the kitchen managers, and the Executive Chef to ensure that the equipment layout was consistent with 40North’s requirements. Special attention was also paid to the bar layout, with an intricate, fully-integrated tap system for forty rotating craft beers.The restaurant, formerly called the Office Bar & Grill, first opened its doors in June of 2014. It was purchased by Morristown-based 40North Restaurant Group in 2017, and renamed The Office Tavern Grill as a part of a rebranding effort. The restaurant group hired RSC to implement the redesign of the property and turn it into an establishment with an open and welcoming atmosphere that would appeal to all diners.

“We’re experts at bending and shaping concepts to help established restaurants expand their brands while staying true to traditional concepts,” continues Walker. “We had to be extra careful during this project because the building is in the historic section of Ridgewood, and it has buildings on both sides. We applied vigilant precision to all of the design work that was being done along the walls and the roof to avoid any damage to the neighboring properties, while maintaining the historic features of the structure.”

This project took seven months to complete, and the restaurant re-opened in November of 2017 with a new craft beer list and an updated menu. Their new dishes include sweet potato nachos, cheese steak taquitos, chili lime grilled chicken, seafood paella, and deviled eggs topped with buffalo chicken.

“The consumer demand for an improved, fast, casual dining experience is transforming the landscape of restaurant architecture and design within high-density, urban areas,” says John P. Capazzi, AIA, President of RSC Architects. “In addition to 40North, we’ve helped major hospitality brands like Pret a Manger, Maison Kayser and Le Pain Quotidien transform themselves for the modern diner with creative solutions and innovative architecture.”