La Merenda

Milwaukee, WI
Creating an Outdoor Urban Oasis

At a Glance

  • SUMMARY: Restaurant patio addition
  • SIZE: Seating for 40
  • COMPLETION: October 2012
  • OWNER:Peter Sandroni, La Merenda
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Project Overview

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 this slow food, 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 on 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 enhances the slow food dining experience.

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