Posted by on Apr 18, 2018

Eat Good, Drink Good, Live Good.

This is the motto at Wok & Mortar, the newest dining establishment in East Grand Rapids’ Gaslight Village. They feature fresh Asian dishes inspired by the street food of the markets in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Large South and East facing windows provide the space with plenty of natural light, bringing out the natural tones of the wood.

r.o.i. Design met VaChong and Bobbiesee Ku, owners of Wok & Mortar, when we helped with the design of their Asian Fusion restaurant in Frankfort, MI. When they decided that they wanted to open a new restaurant in Grand Rapids, they called for our help again.

A Transformation

The space was previously occupied by a Biggby Coffee Shop. We set out to transform the space into a modern Asian restaurant with an updated urban vibe. The previous space was not a restaurant with a full-service commercial kitchen. So, it was a bit of a challenge to make the changeover. We brought in the help of Pinnacle Construction to manage the remodel. Great Lakes West Foodservice Equipment Service provided the kitchen equipment. In addition to interior design, we took on the role of “owner’s advocate”. We oversaw the entire remodeling project, from leasing the space to upgrading utilities, and finally to promote the grand opening.

Communal Table and Order Counter. Customers can watch their meal being prepared in the large pass-through opening to the kitchen.

The interior features a wood wall made of reclaimed wood from shipping pallets. We also designed and had fabricated a custom communal table for the center of the space. It also features the reclaimed pallet wood, along with shelves to display the various sauces they offer for sale. The color palette consisted of mostly subdued grays. This allowed the wood features and graphic signage to stand out.

Reclaimed Pallet Wood Wall and Communal Table

Logo and Menu Design

r.o.i. Design was also asked by Wok & Mortar to design their logo. We went back and forth with a few concepts but finally landed on a design that incorporated the “W” and “M” from Wok & Mortar into flames over a wok. After that, we also designed the exterior sign, along with their menu boards and take-out menu.

Colorful menu boards allow customers to build their own dish. Orders can be placed using a self-serve kiosk or with the Wok & Mortar smartphone app.

The “W” and “M” from Wok & Mortar are incorporated into the flames in the wok for the restaurant’s logo.