Two Rick Erwin’s restaurants get a facelift

Menus at all five locations received small plate updates

Artisphere glass artist Ryan Gothrup designed this handblown glass chandelier for Nantucket Seafood | photo by Will Crooks

In case you missed it: two of five Rick Erwin’s restaurants got a noticeable facelift in the fall amid the restaurant group’s expansion into other markets.

“We are in growth mode,” says CFO Michael Ivey. “This is the challenge when you’re in growth mode. You can’t ignore the restaurants that got you to where you are.”

The original – Rick Erwin’s West End Grille – and Nantucket Seafood received updates to the tune of $275,000.

West End Grille (WEG) got a complete interior update, while Nantucket Seafood amped up the wow factor with new lighting by glass artist Ryan Gothrup of Mt. Juliet, Tenn., a featured artist at Artisphere.

“Along with the physical updates, we also kind of went to work on the menu,” Ivey says. “West End Grille is predominantly known as a steakhouse, but we’ve introduced the idea of small plates. We’ve done this in all of our restaurants. It’s being well-received because it creates a different dining experience. It’s a more social dining experience where you’re sharing the meal.”

Check out WEG’s small plate offerings here.

But back to the renovations. Here’s the nitty gritty:

The WEG project came as a result of age – the restaurant was approaching 12 years old and needed updating, Ivey says.

West End Grille before the renovation | photo provided

“What started out as just a little project turned into quite a major project,” Ivey says. “It needed to be fresh.”

WEG received most of the attention with new carpet, chairs, booths, fabric coverings, lighting throughout the restaurant, bathrooms updated, finished trim work, refinished hard wood floors, and a new floor plan and seating layout.

The inspiration for the design at WEG was not intended to dramatically change the traditional, intimate look or feel of the restaurant; it was intended to introduce a few more transitional elements of design through lighting and fabric, Ivey says.

West End Grille after the renovation | photo provided

Craig Gaulden Davis of Greenville – Ed Zeigler, Charles Gunning, and Andrea Kuhfuss (interior design) – designed the transformation with Triangle Construction, led by general contractor William Trammell.

That centerpiece chandelier in Nantucket? It’s 43 individually hand blown glass fixtures and 200 glass beads that took two days to install.

The Nantucket renovation came as a result of wanting to improve the lighting throughout the restaurant.

“We’re allowing the restaurants to evolve a little bit, and I think it’s important that they stay in tune with the times and don’t seem too outdated, too old, become a thing of the past,” Ivey says.



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