Bootsy Bellows, West Hollywood, Designed by: Built Inc.
Photo: Elizabeth Daniels


Behind Great Restaurant Design’ Goes inside Bootsy Bellows

In conjunction with its AIA|LA Restaurant Design Awards, the chapter hosts an annual ‘Behind Great Restaurant Design’ panel at Dwell on Design. Relaxed but informative, the event features an interchange between the designers of the finalists selected by the jury each year, and the jury itself. Audience members are given an inside look at the creative process for each project. Then, based on their extensive experience, members of the jury, deliver compelling insights and notes of interest on each design.

This year’s conversation was particularly lively. Jury members—restaurateur Bill Chiat and designer Alexis Readinger, Assoc. AIA,—riffed off each other, sharing their in-depth knowledge, passion for restaurants, and, initiated conversations with finalists. Afterwords, questions from the audience prompted surprising stories from finalists about how they acquired their first commission for a restaurant, cafe or bar.

Back at the office, we thought—why end that conversation here—and asked all 2016 finalists to respond to three questions.

Here, are the responses from Built Inc, designers of Bootsy Bellows, the winner of the bar category accorded by the jury.


What most surprised you about designing Bootsy Bellows? Or, what was the toughest challenge?
The toughest challenge was staying consistent and true to the Bootsy Bellows soul, and its name, through its evolution as a nightclub. Our latest design transformed the space to a more elegant look that allowed us to define the brand for global expansion.

How did the office get its first restaurant or bar commission? In 2002 we created Magnolia. Friends of ours owned The Bar in Hollywood and wanted to open a restaurant on Sunset Boulevard. Obviously, they knew of our business and what we did with residential projects, so they asked us to design their next restaurant/lounge, which has become somewhat of a Hollywood staple over the past 14 years.

What’s a current project and why are you excited about designing it? We’re working on the design and buildout of a West Hollywood nightclub. Having worked in the space before, our familiarity with the structure of the building as well as inspiration from the client promoted creative and new club-experience concepts. Through careful detailing and formulas, we’ve designed a space that allows the energy to build throughout the night, moving from restaurant to nightclub in a matter of hours.
Last updated: 29-Jul-2016 01:23 PM
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