Pirouette Café & Wine Bar

The first-time restaurateurs tapped local architecture and design firm //3877 to bring their vision for a lively, community wine bar to life with Pirouette Café & Wine Bar.

  • area / size 3,300 sqft
  • Year 2022
  • In late September 2022, husband and wife duo Philippe and Jackie Loustaunau opened the doors of their first restaurant, Pirouette Café in Arlington, Virginia. Longtime residents of Arlington County, Philippe and Jackie decided to combine their longstanding love of food and wine and their friendships with winemakers, importers, distributors, farmers, and chefs to finally go all-in on their dream to have their very own place around the corner.

    While there are an array of bars and restaurants in the area, Arlington lacked an immersive wine experience with an intriguing cuisine and a community feel––Philippe and Jackie alongside collaborators from //3877 set out to fix this quandary for Arlington wine lovers, social butterflies, and foodies alike. An ideal location within the Ballston community, Pirouette Café sits right on Fairfax Drive on the ground floor of the chic, new apartment building, J Sol Apartments. In fact, apartment residents can access the restaurant without even leaving the building through a door that opens into Pirouette Café’s wine shop, which seamlessly transitions into the dining experience. With an abundance of natural light and an ideal layout featuring a 3,300-square-foot interior and a 1,000-square-foot exterior, the location proved to be a perfect spot for Pirouette.

    From the very beginning of the design process, //3877 captured the unique movement and dynamism of the space through the owners’ foundational pillars for their F&B vision: creating an authentic atmosphere with everyday enchantment and intentional sourcing. The expression of these pillars was conversational and effervescent, while key words throughout the development of the project included “movement,” “style,” “community,” “memorable,” “inviting,” and of course, “joie de vivre” (meaning “exuberant enjoyment of life” in French). The guiding principles allowed the concept to come naturally to the //3877 team, leading them to the notion of “Whimsical Refinement” as a primary design driver.

    Upon entry, patrons are immediately drawn in by the chiseled, concrete hostess stand, plush seating arrangements, and pops of color balanced by natural light, creating a cozy environment that leaves room for a sense of mystery as to what awaits beyond. The architecture exudes a contemporary aesthetic through clean lines and natural expressions of materiality, alongside neutral hues of black, gray, and brown, with custom millwork and artwork that unexpectedly showcases an array of green, blue, yellow, and red. //3877 honored the client’s desire to incorporate natural materials by highlighting the existing materiality of the space, such as the concrete floors, pillars, and exposed ceiling. Within the wine bar’s retail experience, the team maintained that same atmosphere with intentional moments of relaxed lighting complemented by a layout that encourages movement throughout the space. The wine display is poised, yet playful and not too polished so guests feel welcome, engaged, and maybe even encouraged to head to the dining area and stay awhile.

    Arlington’s newest wine and dine destination, Pirouette Café creates a sense of community through its sophisticated, yet approachable design. //3877 beautifully portrayed the unique style and exquisite taste of owners Philippe and Jackie Loustaunau through the wine bar, creating an effervescent hub for locals to mingle amongst good design, exciting wine, and fresh, locally-sourced cuisine.

    Design: //3877
    Photography: Joseph D. Tran