Archiscape Blog


Posted on August 4, 2010 by Karin • Filed under:


When the owners of Zinc Restaurant in New Haven, CT, wanted to update their 10-year-old restaurant on Chapel Street, they asked Clover Design and Karin Patriquin Architect to design and coordinate the effort. We had worked together previously on Kitchen Zinc, their sister restaurant on Temple Street Plaza.
The result? An elegant palette of soft neutrals with highlights in various metals, creating a sophisticated yet relaxed atmosphere.


The restaurant is housed on the ground floor of a historic building on Chapel Street, a long narrow space with high ceilings. Light enters through the front of the restaurant. Creating and highlighting different zones in the space allow clients to enjoy the restaurant in different ways. Just off the street, the bar area encourages the after-work or after-dinner crowds to stop by. In the front window, a long zinc table allows a large group to get together, with a view onto the street. Beyond, banquettes and table-tops allow for flexible groupings.

Our re-design focused on creating a unified look while highlighting the different zones. The bar area’s new acoustic clouds provide sound reduction in this potentially noisy area, while creating a special, intimate feel.
Metal chainmail curtains create the divisions and both obscure and reflect views. A subtle change of color on the walls modulates the feel of each zone.


In restaurant owner and manager Donna Curran’s words, this is a ‘light redesign’, a strategic use of materials and resources to create a meaningful change to the look and feel of the restaurant.
We sourced new lighting, carpet, wall finishes, chainmail curtains and other accessories to create the updated feel.


Zinc has been in business 10 years and has a faithful following in and around New Haven, for the quality of their local foods, for the urban ambience and for their innovative menu – both old favorites and new additions. We worked the design to support the core values of their philosophies.
When they first opened, they chose Zinc as a name and as a material. The bar, the dividing wall at the bar and the long table at the front are made of or faced with zinc. Their napkin holders are a zinc ring.
We enhanced the material by choosing finishes and fabrics in neutral and metallic tones, and by softening the backdrop, allowing the metallics to shine.


A few well-chosen moves give the restaurant an easy elegance, something New Haven-ites and others will enjoy for years to come.

You can visit Zinc Restaurant online here, or in person at:

Zinc Restaurant

964 Chapel Street, New Haven, CT




See our Zinc Restaurant Portfolio Page, for extra images.



“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start,
anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”
-Carl Bard

A bientôt,