Shears Adkins Rockmore designed the Boulder-based bistro Emmerson to be an open, bright, and eclectic eatery in the city’s vibrant Pearl Street mall.

  • area / size 5,160 sqft
  • Year 2017
  • Type Restaurant,
  • An avant-garde restaurateur and two Brooklyn chefs of high repute planted the seed of a gluten inspired restaurant in Boulder, CO. Emmer, one of the earliest cultivated types of wheat has both wild and domestic strains. The paradox of wild and domestic resonated within the personality of the chefs, the cuisine and became the driving concept behind the design of Emmerson.

    Converting what was previously a fast-casual restaurant into an all-day upscale dining experience presented its challenges. A small budget and aggressive schedule meant that the design team was left to achieve the project’s goals under the existing structural and electrical constraints of the space. Transforming from morning pastries to chilled oysters and charcuterie in the evening presented design challenges.

    The new design accommodates a complex menu with dual purpose display cases and a resurfaced bar with marble veined quartz serving as a neutral backdrop for the curated cuisine. Soft pink, upholstered seating is peppered throughout the space providing diners with diverse seating options. A 20′ long custom live edge hackberry wood community table draws the visitor’s eyes into the space as they enter the main restaurant. Floating above the communal table is an array of gold tipped bulbs that provide an elegant illumination; a creative solution to serving light to an expansive communal table with only one
    existing junction box above. Lastly, two identical portraits of Emmerson’s mascot hang stout in the space; a powerful female astronaut with a pink neon halo deeply representing the concept of edgy yet soft, masculine and feminine, wild and domestic flair.

    Design: Shears Adkins Rockmore
    Photography: David Lauer