La Merenda restaurant is nationally renowned for its small plate menu focusing on natural, locally-grown ingredients that combine diverse flavors. With the success of the restaurant, the owner came to Continuum Architects + Planners to create an outdoor patio designed to complement the authentic dining experience. The exterior space incorporates a production garden, a lounge with a fireplace, and a dining area for 40 patrons. Emphasizing the connection to community and environment, natural materials were used such as weather-worn cedar and rusted steel for the trellis that shelters the diners, and the screen wall that encloses the space.
Sustainability was a focus of this outdoor design. From the production garden for the restaurant’s herbs and vegetables, to the stormwater harvesting cistern that irrigates the garden, to the many planters filled with ornamental grasses and vines. The design provides a peaceful urban oasis that adds to the slow food dining experience.