Contemporary, yet classic. Trendy, yet timeless. Johnny Rockets’ new design prototype embraces what has made the iconic restaurant chain a favorite dining destination for more than 25 years, while adding architectural nuances to keep it modern and relevant.

Developed by Pawtucket, Rhode Island-based Morris Nathanson Design at the request of 20-year Johnny Rockets franchise veteran Lloyd Sugarman, the new design prototype affords company developers and franchise partners a variety of exciting, cost-effective package options when constructing a new restaurant or renovating an existing location.

The overarching design framework is fresh and modern, allowing for customization and modification of materials to fit specific cost parameters. Within that framework are a variety of new design option packages that represent hybrid crosses between the two ends of the spectrum: the company’s classic Johnny Rockets design and the new, more contemporary look.

Distinctive architectural nuances keep the design prototype current while reflecting the company’s rich, guest-centric heritage.

To add visual interest and comfort, there are colorful neon signs; pop art-inspired decorative disks that showcase Johnny Rockets’ signature hamburgers, fries, and shakes; two-toned red and ivory sleek vinyl upholstery; ceiling cove lights with chrome valances; spoke lighting with up-and-down shades; and recessed down lighting. 

Durable, functional materials and finishes include white subway tile behind the open cooking area, Corian countertops and counter edge detail, mosaic tile floors, and light and dark wood laminate.  

“We’re thrilled to have created a full complement of new design options for our franchise partners and property owners,” says Cris Pangan, vice president of development for Johnny Rockets. “We kept elements that our guests readily identify with our brand, while adding interesting, eye-catching nuances that continue our company’s momentum. The designs balance what is unique and timeless about Johnny Rockets with a fresh, contemporary new look.”

“All the elements were carefully coordinated to be playful, impactful and durable,” says Josh Nathanson, Morris Nathanson Design senior designer. “The beauty of this prototype is that the various package options work as easily when retrofitting existing sites as they do when fitting into new sites. And because the options can be customized to accommodate individual landlord requirements, they’re well-suited to both inline mall locations and stand-alone units.”

Components of the design prototype were unveiled at the Johnny Rockets restaurant that opened last summer at historic South Street Seaport in New York City. Select architectural elements were also incorporated at locations at The Banks, Ohio; Melrose Avenue, California; and Cannery Row, California, as well as at restaurants at Thayer Street, Rhode Island; Burlington Mall, Massachusetts; and–most true to its initial rendering–at Providence Place, Rhode Island. The new Opry Mills, Tennessee, restaurant slated to open this summer will also reflect this new look.

Industry News, Restaurant Design, Johnny Rockets