Carnitas' Snack Shack Nominated for an Orchid Award

September 5, 2012

Did you know that Carnitas’ Snack Shack was nominated for an Orchid Award?

San Diego Architectural Foundation holds their yearly Orchids and Onions Awards, which recognize outstanding local architectural projects. Chef Hanis Cavin and partner Sara Stroud had a new restaurant concept that would revitalize a local neighborhood eatery, and provide gourmet farm-to-table food at an affordable price. The new space was designed by architect Jared Bradley, who reinvented the old Vo’s Cafe as a modern outdoor dining experience. No stranger to the neighborhood, Bradley had previously designed The Linkery restaurant, also in North Park.

Carnitas Snack ShackThe front of the building was kept low-key to accentuate the new back patio area. No large signage adorns the buliding, other than in the windows and of course, a landmark rooftop pig sculpture. But inside, new equipment replaced old in the kitchen. New ventilation systems were added. Original draining and plumbing had to be totally gutted and replaced with modern code-complaint materials in the kitchen and the bathroom.

The old, boxy eating area was razed and in its place a new outdoor dining structure was designed and fabricated to serve as a conceptual outdoor amphitheater to showcase the food and community. Custom-milled, natural-finished shiplap cedar was used to soften the urban space. The simple structure extends and cantilevers out and up to make the space open and inviting. To create a lower, human-scale point of entry, there is a small reverse-sloped cantilevered roof structure closer to the building.

Phase two of the project is to add ceiling fans to the outdoor structure, and to expand the seating area into the current driveway and parking areas.

Architect: Jared Bradley, The Bradley Projects
Construction: Jeff Foss
Rooftop Pig Sculpture: Robbie Bennett, Slade Fischer, Kyle Preish, Alex Muñez and David Michael,
Signage: Impact Visual Arts
Installation: Howard’s Sign Services
Branding and digiMenu: Thrive Arts

The 2012 Orchids and Onions Award Ceremony will be held October 11, 2012 at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego in La Jolla, California.

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Some Pictures from Vo’s Cafe. Images, courtesy Yelp.
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