Navigating quarantine and social distancing has been a tremendous challenge for restaurants as they struggle to keep the doors open requiring operational changes. These three restaurants in west Sonoma County, CA — Khom Loi, Sonoma Station, and K&L Bistro — were at different stages in their development when Covid hit, but all required creative thinking to adapt.
We began working with Khom Loi in 2019, a year before Covid. As a new build project, this restaurant was already constructed once regulations changed. In response, the business had adapted with a focus on outdoor dining. Large doors open to an enclosed patio, connecting the inside and outside of the restaurant. To expand seating options, a large tent was placed outside. Lanterns and textural elements carry the look and feel of the restaurant to the patio seating.
Sonoma Station, another client of ours, was at the beginning stages of the design process when lockdowns and quarantines were happening. This influenced the concept of the restaurant which, designed as a throwback to the 50s drive thru, placed a lot of importance on the take out and drive thru components of the business. They are very much working in the spirit of what is allowed under quarantine. The project renderings (above) show how this modern diner has really utilized outdoor dining.
K&L has been a Sonoma County staple for 15 years, with a loyal, local following. Their status among the community has helped carry them through a time when many restaurants are shuttering, making them a survivor story of navigating Covid.