The architecture and landscape firm thread collective and the owners of the renowned Brooklyn pizza restaurant Franny’s are similarly dedicated: to sustainability, to knowing where things come from and who made them, and to a strong commitment to the overall customer experience.
This shared ethos made for a great collaborative relationship, with thread collective principals Elliott Maltby and Gita Nandan bringing the same precision and attention to detail to the design process that Franny’s owners Francine Stephens and Andrew Feinberg are known for in the kitchen.
Starting with the BKLYN larder in 2008, thread collective has designed all of the couple’s current food ventures, including the new Franny’s and Marco’s.
Simple, elegant design coupled with creative and functional space planning emphasizing the use of local materials and craftspeople all help support a clear design identity for each space.
When the couple determined that Franny’s had outgrown its original location, they found a space further up Flatbush Avenue, a former Blockbuster with a large cellar and patches of historic tile hidden under the carpet.
The design agenda was to create a space that was recognizable as Franny’s but with more light and flexibility, and a generous open kitchen with space for two new wood ovens imported from Italy.
The new Franny’s features a bright, clean aesthetic balanced with strong details, including walnut counters and blackened steel throughout.
Upon entering, a generous bar offers a place to socialize while the warm flame of the ovens draws guests into the restaurant.
A firewood storage wall structures the large room, creating smaller intimate spaces for the bar and dining. The quantity of the stacked firewood changes daily, creating dynamic patterns of transparency.
The main dining area echoes many of the elements of the original restaurant, while the private dining room downstairs has a strong craft aesthetic, with handmade tiles, custom wine storage, and wood detailing.
Not unlike Franny’s, the BLKYN Larder’s modern design provides a crisp backdrop for the retail display of prepared food, colorful produce and packaged goods. A large interior window at the rear of the space offers a glimpse of cheese being aged and other sundries.
Marco’s also embraces a vintage modern hybrid, expressed by careful detailing and a rich palette of materials. A metal-and-glass partition creates a discrete bar and waiting area; centered within the open dining space a large round banquette is paired with a full-height wood point of service and storage wall.