Contract - November 2009 - (Page 50)

design viva milwaukee slick+design pays homage to Hollywood royalty with Charro, a Milwaukee restaurant that ups the design stakes of Mexican eateries By Amy Milshtein Photography by Nicole D. Zenoni The King may have left the building, but a bit of his legacy lives on in the heartland with Charro Restaurante. Set in the exciting, nightspot-heavy East Milwaukee area, the restaurant takes its design cue from the black and white Elvis movie by the same name. With Charro, slick+design sanctifies the ordinary Mexican restaurant experience while continuing to create extraordinary nightspots in town. Much like sibling rivalry in a big family, Charro competes with other cool spots on the same street—run by the same owner, TWG Management, and designed by the same firm. “All of the projects on the street are unique, each with its own special eye candy,” boasts Rocco Laudizio, principal at slick+design and the proud father of six other establishments. All of the interiors use bold color to create instant and distinct ambiance, and Charro is no exception. Before deciding on a color palette though, Laudizio had to contend with the interior’s long and narrow shape. Also, he sought to generate excitement by creating an interior that looked, like a carnival. He says, “I wanted patrons to see something different every time they turned their head.” In that vein he took inspiration from Elvis Presley—a favorite of his and one of the owners, Thomas Wackman. “Growing up in the ’70s, Elvis was really big,” says Wackman. “Plus, he was the first person I ever saw in concert.” Not wanting to create a “Planet Hollywood” vibe, Laudizio took a crumb from an Elvis movie, lyrics from the songs, and went from there. “I started with just one word,” he says. “Then one word grew into one wall and one wall into the whole space.” An LED lighting system illuminates the glossy white letters set slick+design had to manipulate the 4,000-sq.-ft. interior’s long narrow shape (opposite) to make the owner’s business model work. Bending MDF walls to arch over the interior and painting them glossy red (above) sets the upstairs apart. The crosses cut into the MDF let light into all parts of the restaurant and pay homage to Mexican culture. 50 contract november/december 2009

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Contract - November 2009

Contract - November 2009
Hips Don’t Lie
Within Arm’s Reach
A Little Off the Top
The Green Acoustics Paradox
Indian Eatery
Lace and Pinstripes
Viva Milwaukee
Pie in the Sky
Work Hard, Play Hard
Police Presence
2009 Brand Report
Ad Index

Contract - November 2009