As a partner in Twisted Fork and Woody’s Bar and Grill, General Contractor Frank Lepori knows first-hand what makes a great restaurant design. “Our teams enjoy the challenges of delivering restaurant spaces that flow in the most efficient way possible,” says Lepori, a northern Nevada general contractor since 1985. His project teams have delivered 40+ restaurant projects – everything from premium steak houses to taco stores.
Lepori leaders focus on these essential elements for creating great restaurant facilities: efficient floor plans, attention to detail in site development, cabinetry and finishes that function, cleanliness during construction, and creating a strong project vision.
EFFICIENT FLOOR PLAN
“A floor plan must respond to how the restaurant team cooks and serves,” Frank says as he reviews the latest drawings for Peg’s Glorified Ham and Eggs. In-house draftsman Dominic Gonzales works closely with owners Cady and Fred Lee who pride themselves on their service and quality. "The Lees want durable, reliable, high performance equipment and finishes. Even more importantly, Dominic situates the seating, work stations, and equipment to ensure staff can move quickly through their specific service sequence.” Lepori, Gonzales and Estimator/Senior Project Manager Harrison Herrera are leading their fourth Peg’s project for the Lees.
PRECISE SITE WORK
While the Lepori team prefers design-build delivery for restaurants, they also bid on projects like Steak and Shake delivered in South Meadows in 2017. “We could meet their tight schedule, because we smoothly navigate the restaurant permitting and construction process.," Frank explains. Site Superintendent Jesse Steverman leads site work with Lepori operators and laborers, using his finesse with specific site development constraints and standards for grease interceptors, signage, drive through lanes and more.”
Lepori cabinet makers also bring value to restaurant designs, because they can detail and build elements with strong visual themes and durable surfaces to enhance the restaurant design. For example, on the Lucky Beaver Bar and Grill, the Lepori cabinetry team highlighted a rotating flame grill area with curving glass blended with wood and metal finishes. Not only does this element entertain diners, it functions well as cooking equipment.
Veteran Superintendents Rocky Lepori and Glyn Westlake lead restaurant projects, applying high standards for maintaining a sanitary environment during construction. A restaurant owner cannot see inside ceilings, walls and ducts, but they need to know their general contractor has eliminated any debris or potential contaminants. For example, Lepori crafts people followed strict cleaning standards long before Mari Chuy’s Mexican Kitchen opened its doors in Midtown. That attention to detail earned Lepori Construction the opportunity to also build Two Chicks restaurant and Basik Acai Café in the Sticks Center for developer Bernie Carter.
Transforming a dark shell into a shiny new restaurant requires a strong project vision. “We begin with spaces that are so rough, it’s hard for most to see the potential,” says Lepori as he looks at before and after photos for the IJJI 4 Korean BBQ Restaurant on North McCarran Blvd. “Thankfully, my team excels at envisioning, and we work for visionary clients.” His team is collaborating with Restaurateur Rammi Young on a fourth Ijji collaboration featuring dramatic finishes. “By collaborating closely with owners, my teams take a dream and turn it into a reality.”