“We’re a place for each and all” is the first description of Haymaker that our young client-chef shared with us. Born and raised in Appalachia, he worked his way through kitchens sourcing southern-grown ingredients and garnering a reputation for skilled craftmanship within the vernacular.

Project Name: Haymaker
Studio Name: Square Feet Studio
Project size: 3994 ft2
Completion date: 2018
Building levels: 2
Location: Charlotte, NC, United States
Photography: Kyo H. Nam

Haymaker by Square Feet Studio - Sheet1
Outdoor Seating ©Kyo H. Nam

As we began the design process, materials were selected for their durability and timelessness. We wanted to make sure that finishes were not treated as precious objects, never to be touched. We wanted texture in our upholstery, grain in our wood, and weathering in our steel and brass. Guests will first notice the oak plank flooring, which was reclaimed from old barns across the Southeast from Authentic Reclaimed Flooring Company. Solid walnut tabletops and paneling were sourced locally as well, while hand-painted cement tiles in a botanical pattern delineate the bar from Brooklyn-based Grow House Grow.

The bar delivers a commanding presence at the front of the restaurant with a convivial u-shape and generous leather barstools that provide a comfortable spot to drink and eat. The locally-made blackened steel and antiqued brass backbar shelving provides necessary storage and display space, while concealing the stairs up to the mezzanine.

Haymaker by Square Feet Studio - Sheet2
Dining Space ©Kyo H. Nam

The space is located adjacent to Romare Bearden Park. The design takes advantage of this by placing the majority of the seating parallel to the large windows, maximizing the view towards the park. Sidewalk dining provides guests with an outdoor experience next to the park. The bright red furniture and umbrellas are eye-catching and contrast with the more subdued tones on the interior.

The kitchen plays a central role in the guest experience at Haymaker. It is wide open, showcasing the chef’s talents. Sidewalk pedestrians can catch a glimpse of the action as they walk by, and guests can experience it up close and personal at the chef’s counter facing the kitchen. Top of the line stainless steel equipment is set against cream-colored glazed tile.

Haymaker by Square Feet Studio - Sheet3
Dining Space ©Kyo H. Nam

A mezzanine dining area was designed for extra dining space and large, private gatherings. The space upstairs is a more intimate experience, with views to the park, soft lighting, locally-made carpet, wallcovering that evokes watercolor landscapes, and a gallery art wall. Unique lighting always features prominently in our work, and we sourced fixtures to give Haymaker a truly custom feel and cast a warm glow. Long, perforated brass pendants over the bar, weathered steel pendants over the dining tables, and sculptural linen shades all tie into the central theme of the design: authentic, handmade, and textural.

Artwork plays a central role in the guest experience at the restaurant, with a curated mix of photography, prints, and paintings including those sourced from North Carolina artists. Scattered throughout are nods to the word haymaker including a photo of a ‘haymaker’ punch thrown by chef’s favorite athlete, Muhammad Ali.


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