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WOW BBQ

Location: Providence, RI

Located in the East Side of Providence, this adaptive re-use project converts the ground floor of a turn-of-the-century residence into WOW BBQ, an authentic Chinese barbecue restaurant whose first iteration was a bright red food truck serving Boston. The restaurant occupies a space near Thayer Street, a hub of food culture in the city just steps away from the Brown University campus.

ZDS aimed to provide a design perspective that is in keeping with the historic neighborhoods and university surroundings and WOW’s roots to facilitate their claim in the competitive, foot traffic heavy, locale.

ZDS’s design plan weaves together the restaurant’s origin, the cultural profile that the food evokes, and the desire to retain appropriate existing architectural features. The front porch and facade of the original residential structure were reimagined to accomodate a commercial space with distinct articulation and facade treatments. The contemporary seating composition and use of materials, designed to reflect WOW’s urban roots, create a vibrant atmosphere that appeals to the collegiate demographic and the business centered patronage that define the Providence restaurant market.