The Downtown Kitchen (dk) is a reinvention of the corporate cafeteria. The Downtown Kitchen endeavors to meet the dining and catering needs of leading businesses in Milwaukee’s premier Class A corporate building, the US Bank Center. Downtown Kitchen is a meeting place unlike any in Milwaukee—a place where the speed of modern business merges with the warmth, craft and professionalism of the Bartolotta Restaurant brand.
The client was most focused on the guest experience, with a variety of seating options to make the space inviting and comfortable for everyone. The space needed to be flexible and open but also offer intimate spaces where people could dine alone or work outside of the office. There was an emphasis on the lighting, which was a key design feature in the space, not only for the aesthetic but also for the ambiance. The warmth of the space needed to translate into the materials used to accentuate texture and quality. The existing ceiling was painted black to downplay the strong angular geometry, but also to create drama to highlight the food as center stage. A stark black-and-white palette keeps the aesthetic simple and classic, which is true to the Bartolotta Restaurants brand.
Kahler Slater services included brand/concept definition, brand identity, main identification signage, menu signage (schematic design), wall graphics (schematic design), naming services and interior design.