HCM and Colossal Cafe have been neighbors for years.  This past spring HCM had the pleasure to design and document a second location for Colossal Cafe located across the river in Saint Paul.   The overall design and layout was based on the below Brand and Design Concepts:  

A.      Brand Concepts:

a.       Restaurant operations – self-order, self seat with table service.

b.       Breakfast and lunch menu – identical to Minneapolis

c.       View of food prep and kitchen staff is critical to the concept presentation and brand.

d.       Seating to be for 50-60 people

e.       Space to be very casual, comfortable, clean & friendly.

f.         Develop ties to local neighborhood (i.e. meeting room, neighborhood postings, etc).


B.      Design Concepts:

a.       Make the order process and route easy to understand and navigate for the customer (distance, open views, etc).

b.       Create a cozy and casual neighborhood gathering place.

c.       The kitchen to be open to the customer to promote casual interactions and display the quality and craft of the product preparation.

d.       Maintain natural light through existing openings (increase glass at storefront and glass block at north wall).

e.       Community Room to be visually open to the public area but maintain “out of the way” location.

f.         Second exit will divide rear service spaces – develop a logical separation of spaces

g.       Menu board to be easy to see and understand.

h.       Space to have varied seating types

i.         Café counter and its configuration promotes the brand and customer interaction with staff.


Materials and Millwork were designed to provoke an Overall Feeling of:  “Farmlike” kitchen, Fresh, Comfortably Used, Funky yet Traditional.  While the Furniture selections focused on: Wood/Rustic,  Cleanable,  Not precious, Relaxed,  Natural, Dark Bottom(Chairs) with Light top (Farm-table).   Finishes  and Key design strategies consisted of:  Playful yet sophisticated tiles, Venetian’ painted wall with  bold colors (Red),  Rhythmic Scones and table features, Rustic stone kitchen window wall (exhibit kitchen).  We introduced a sturdy, cleanable floor with Vinyl sheet striping with slight textured, 3 colors.  The one partition wall that divides the community room and dinning area was designed to be a sheer wall divider, curtain like.  Translucent barrier that will provide semi-privacy while keeping the cafe 'open'.

This project completed CD's in June and is currently being priced.