Every year, architecture and design trends change, for all building types. It might not be very noticeable year-to-year, but you can see major differences between restaurants built in the 90s vs buildings & build-outs that are new today. It seems as if restaurants do a lot of facelifts, trying to keep up with the restaurant design trends of today.


So, what exactly are the design trends of today, and will they continue to look great 5 or 10 years from now? If they’re done right and well, yes, they will! Here are some of the current restaurant design trends.


Funky Lighting


Whether it’s colorful, recessed, back-lit, or just plain interesting, using lighting to create points of interest or inviting atmospheres in restaurants is a trend that’s not going away any time soon. Walk into any new restaurant and take a look at the lighting – it almost always draws the eye to some sort of cool feature. It could be art, an architectural element of some sort, or even just an interesting light fixture.

Find it in our projects:
Bonefish Grill


Technology Integration



Just throwing a couple TVs on the wall isn’t the extend of technology integration in restaurants anymore. Especially with all the emerging technologies of today, you’ll tend to see more technology built right in to restaurants. High-tech sound systems, TV monitors built straight into walls, touch screen ordering, cell phone charging and more. Look for more and more of this in the future.

Find it in our projects:
O Zone


Outside/Rooftop Seating

Yard House patio


Especially in Minnesota, we like to take advantage of the warm, agreeable weather when we can, in order to offset our winter blues. Enjoying an appetizer with friends or a whole meal out on a patio or rooftop is the perfect way to accomplish just that. According to Kenneth Piper of Tanek Inc architects, “By far the hottest thing in restaurants today is adding or incorporating the outdoor eating experience.” Having outdoor seating space has become increasingly popular in Minnesota over the last several years, and will continue in that direction as time goes on.

Find it in our projects:
Yard House
Which Wich


A Seat with a View

Yard House - Interior


It’s no longer uncommon for diners to have a view of the inner workings of a restaurant or bar. Being able to see through to what’s going on in part of the kitchen or tap room is becoming increasingly popular! This is most evident in one of our most recent projects – Yard House in St. Louis Park. The 10,500 square foot space features open views of the the kitchen and keg room from the dining and bar areas.

Find it in our projects:
Yard House