Travel is often the impetus of inspiration for so many. Pat Daly + Marco Piazza of the recently opened Nomad, were inspired by the fire-cooked food from a trip to Barcelona. The Josper, a specialty charcoal fueled oven, became the center of the design for the new space. The physical environment inside a suburban strip mall became transformed into a layered space, identified by travels and the aromas of the food cooked and served. Learn more about the inspiration and process of the incredible design team.
The Design Inspiration
"We built the whole space around this concept of a journey, finding and collecting inspiration from travel," Allison Westrick, designer from Sketch Blue, shares. "Super hot, charcoal cooking informed the materials palette: strong, dark black tile, burnt wood textures, hot orange art + upholstery and red powder coated equipment. There are a lot of influences, textures, flavors and color from this area of the world." Stephanie Schlegel of Schlegel Design Group says that "Pat wanted to create a space that felt well traveled and full of flavor. I love that it feels like a hip city restaurant in the 'burbs."
"The design has a heavy modern Spanish influence, but the layout was inspired by a restaurant in Amsterdam. The shape of the bar top was inspired by a place in Colombia, there's a little bit from Japan and a lot of the art choices were influenced by a visit to central America," Daly shares. The restaurant has so many layers, textures and materials that come together to create a truly unique and inspired experience. This layering is what Joe Moss, architect from GRA+D, loves most about the space. "The banal, strip-suburban center within which Nomad was created set up a notable challenge with respect to making a space that felt rich and well-traveled. Arriving in a middle-American parking lot does not properly set the tone, so we needed to rely on concentric layering as a way of easing people into a dining experience that met the quality and spirit of the food. The concentric rings of seating styles all converge on the Josper…which in turn is framed by the glowing overhead shelves and bar. Fire and Water..," he adds.
Our work inside the space was vast and showcases our strength working on large scope projects, working with different materials and collaborating across design teams and partners. Throughout the space we created:
- All tables
- Custom booths (with upholstery by Fortner)
- Bench seating
- Host Stand
- Display cabinets
- Bourbon shelving
- Metal + wood hanging bar shelving
The menu is fresh, simply prepared, not overdressed foods presented in an approachable yet interesting manner. The Josper oven from Barcelona was the catalyst for most menu items. "Playing with the flavors of the food as they came out of the high heat charcoal environment led us to the items and pairings we chose," Daly shares. "The fun is in seeing people enjoy the food, drinks and atmosphere."
Favorite menu items from the design team:
Pat: Sea bass with corn salad
Joe: Lomo Saltado
Allison: Lomo Saltado + the cocktail menu
Stephanie: Grilled peach + goat cheese salad
Nomad is open for dine in service or carryout.
"It was all fairly remarkable that Pat chose to stay positive and forge ahead during this pandemic…and the creative approaches that each of the design partners took to see it realized," Moss adds. We couldn't agree more. It was a pleasure to be a part of an inspiring and creative project with people we admire. Great design and space comes from a dedicated design team. This crew is top notch and we can't wait to work together again soon. It is always magic.
Construction: Axis Construction
Furniture: Edgework Creative
Upholstery on Booths: Fortner
Art: Liz Morrison, Nick Stull, Mary Klie
Graphics: Digico Imaging
This wasn't our first project for Pat Daly with this crew, check out our blog post from Atlas Tavern for some serious inspiration. We love working with business owners and talented design partners to bring a space to life. Already dreaming of the next project.