Compiled by Sophie McNeil Wolf
Masters in the art of branding, Bradley Adair, Jonathan Shull and Sanders Bohlke, and their work with Land Vs Ocean can be spotted almost immediately: curated, distinct, cohesive.
The trio has found a niche in designing restaurants from the ground up – logos and menus to interior design – with the Apothecary in Fondren to spots around the state, such Betty’s Eat Shop in Brookhaven and The Anthony in Vicksburg. Adair answered a few questions about their recent restaurant work and where they are going from here.
What’s in the LvO restaurant portfolio?
Some of the bigger projects that we have worked on recently have been The Anthony in Vicksburg, Betty’s Eat Shop in Brookhaven, Grit in Taylor, MS and Greenline in Oxford. Ideally, we would prefer a ground-up style project where we are involved in the concept-branding all the way through to the interior layout and design of the project. That was our process for most of the projects above. It allows for a better sense of continuity for the project.
What inspires you most when designing a new restaurant concept?
I think we are inspired most by having the opportunity to bring an idea to life. I think that is what gets our gears turning. We have our “process” that we try to adhere to, but so often we find ourselves deviating from that process and only then, some of our most inspired moments happen.
Working with restaurants is very different from residential or other commercial work. What challenges do restaurants present?
Right now, we are in the middle of such a competitive restaurant boom. While consistent, quality food is the driving force behind every restaurant — you can’t stand on that alone any longer. Patrons want an experience. In a sense, you have hundreds of clients and their first impressions are made as soon as they walk through the door. Then it is up to the food to keep them coming back.
After a project is complete, what is the most satisfying aspect of the job?
Seeing the concept all come together is a very satisfying feeling. How the name and branding of the restaurant works with the interior and how the interior is a perfect setting for the food that is coming out of the kitchen. I think those things are important. But opening a restaurant is often something that the Chef/Restaurant group has spent countless hours researching and envisioning what it will be like when the doors open… and I think seeing how proud a new restaurant owner is of his or her space is the most fulfilling.
When you visit restaurants, what do you notice now that you have had several restaurant clients?
If I had to guess, my friends would say that I am obnoxious to go to dinner with because I’m taking in all the details. What kind of pendant lights did they use? What do the menus look like? What kind of music are they playing? That’s why it is nice to have your regular spots — you’ve picked them apart so many times, now you can just sit back and enjoy the food.