While reading this old issue of Dwell, I found this gem, Hoagie’s Heroes. Best friends since middle school, Casey Patten and David Mazza opened Taylor Gourmet, a Philadelphia style deli in 2008. In September 2009, Dwell featured their first location on H Street NE between North Capitol and 15th Street NE in Washington, DC. Their goal is to make the best “damn” sandwich in the district. Due to the popularity of their first store, they recently opened a second deli on K Street NW nestled into the City Vista development in Downtown D.C. The friends and now business partners moved to the DC area after graduating from Penn State and worked in real estate and construction for several years before buying the building in 2007. The two decided to place the deli on the ground floor and live in two 850-square-foot, bachelor pads on the second and third floor.
Patten and Mazza hired local architecture and interior design firm, Grupo 7 to realize their space. They were up front with their vision for a blending of industrial and rustic style and of course achieve their goals on a limited budget. The pair challenged the architecture firm to design using cheap materials in innovative ways. Wood from salvaged shipping pallets are used throughout the deli on walls and cladding the cash wrap. Chain-link fence poles serve as vertical supports for the shelving in the market. Another charming and cost-effective solution comes in the bouquet of incandescent lights creating a chandelier in the rear of the deli. The roll-up doors on the facade at Taylor Gourmet is perhaps the most eye-cathcing feature that differentiates this hot spot from other stores in the area. The design of the facade and the interior of the H street store is mimicked in the City Vista location.
A similar palette and sensitivity to rustic and industrial elements carries into the bachelor pad apartments above. The demolition of the existing apartments revealed brick walls which they choose to expose.
The two one-bedroom apartments are basically identical. The two also chose to create similar kitchens created by customizing IKEA kitchen cabinets. The missing element from the homes is a defined dining area which hits home for me. I really have no need for a dining table and chairs at the moment – particularly because I tend to eat while perched on the sofa in front of my flat screen TV. So, I totally understand the omission.
The similar layouts will be certainly help with resale and the NE neighborhood is on the rise. As their business grows, the two can find others to take over their homes.
I must say that I am a bit jealous – it has always been my dream to own a small store and live above it…and I am thrilled to see that their decisions despite having a tight budget were driven by sustainable design and enhancing the neighborhood.
IMAGE CREDITS: Dwell