Rick Stern, Greg Ackerman, Michael Rudman / Willow Restaurant


Location: PIttsburgh, PA

Guests enter Willow restaurant into a double height pub with a 22’ bar with a stained concrete top. The front of the bar showcases translucent panels with bear grass laminated within and backlit with amber light. A balcony overlooks the space with a custom ironwork railing that suggests the flowing lines of a willow branch. The adjacent reception area has a stained perforated plywood backdrop lit from behind and custom reception desk finished in the same materials as the bar.

On the second fl oor, copper-stained wire mesh curtains provide semi-private screens between the dining areas. One room has a 20’ long stained concrete top table with a 12” mirror down the center, refl ecting the glow of oversized candles. Running the length of the table is a dropped ceiling with indigo lights recessed along the edges, which complements the amber glow of the candles and fireplace.

Thresholds between the dining areas are highlighted with lightboxes set into the jambs of the doorways. These pockets of light can also be found above the pub area and behind other banquettes throughout the restaurant. The abstracted natural form in the custom iron floor lamps, railings, and coat racks carry from room to room, as do the rich warm colors of the walls and floors.