Sneakers and Stacks
Maketto in Washington, D.C., combines retail, restaurant, bar, and café experiences in a 6,000-square-foot space that occupies two buildings, a courtyard, a rooftop, and a catwalk. It’s a part of the group Foreign National, which owns other restaurant concepts around D.C., including two spaces in The Line Hotel, noodle bars in four Whole Foods, a boutique, and a coffee shop. Foreign National’s art director Vina Sananikone says that Maketto was designed to bring the community together, to be a shared space.
“It’s nice because you can kind of go at any time of day and there’s something to do,” Sananikone says. “We have guests who will pop in every morning on their way to work or come to Maketto to work because of the café upstairs, and then there’s a courtyard.” There’s also yoga on the weekends, local artist shows, and a collaboration beer with local brewery DC Brau available at the bar. The restaurant serves a combination of Cambodian and Taiwanese cooking from chef Erik Bruner-Yang, while the retail operation they run is a unique blend of men’s fashion and accessories, as well as home goods and periodicals. The product that sells the best for them? Shoes.
“A lot of places will have, like, a market,” Sananikone says, referencing restaurants that will sell things related to the food they serve. “It’s interesting because you walk in [to Maketto] and you’re like, ‘Oh, I can buy a watch and get a beer.’” Since the restaurant fills with dinner reservations early, walk-ins who are waiting will wander the rest of the complex. “We’ll have a waiting list and people will wander the store or go upstairs and sit down and have a drink. You don’t really have to go anywhere else.”
Similarly, at Brewery Bhavana in Raleigh, North Carolina, patrons can browse the stacks of art and design books, poetry collections, and conflict resolution and philosophy texts, before sitting down for some dim sum. There is also a small flower shop filled with local stems where they make custom floral arrangements.