Designers for Nolita Hall were tasked with marrying comfort, community, and ready access to San Diego’s beautiful weather. “The inspiration behind the design was to create a unique and very social environment that would stand out from the other restaurants and bars within the area,” says David Michael, principal at Tecture Design & Fabrication in San Diego. “Inviting in the beautiful San Diego weather and activities is a big part of our overall concept.”
In addition to the large, open concept and floor-to-ceiling roll-up windows, one of the design elements getting the most attention at Nolita Hall is its split flap display over the bar. Custom-built by Philadelphia-based Oat Foundry, the board took 12 weeks to create and pulls real-time flight tracker data from the San Diego Airport, says Oat Foundry cofounder and CEO Mark Kuhn.
In addition to aggregated flight schedules, managers can change messaging anytime that’s convenient. “Split-flap messaging can be accessed from any device with a web browser, including smartphones, tablets, and PCs,” Kuhn says. “A manager on-site can use the web app to send instant, one-off messages such as, ‘Happy birthday, Sarah,’ with the ease of sending a text message. The web app can also be used to program scheduled messages, at any time of day.”
Several venues under one roof
Nolita Hall offers an expansive space that can accommodate several dining goals and activities, from family gatherings to viewing sports events and more. Michael says the design team wasn’t held to any theme or motif, and the result is a merging of Italian comfort and community, German beer hall–like interactions and Southern Californian openness. “Inspiration came from a number of different avenues, from old beer halls to open family-style patios,” Michael says. “We bridged many ideas and guided them through a more modern perspective to get the final result.”
And the design seems to be working. Hamm says Nolita Hall is the new hot spot in San Diego. “Young people come to mingle, hang out, eat, play shuffleboard, and enjoy the space,” Hamm says. “We have a vast number of guests who come in multiple times a week.”