Garces’ Olón, Bar Olón and Okatshe Open at Tropicana Atlantic City
dash design, a leading New York-based interior design and brand-consulting firm, today announced the completion of three destination restaurants headed by notable chef and James Beard Award-winner Jose Garces: Olón, Bar Olón and Okatshe. All are located at the Tropicana Atlantic City, 2831 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, New Jersey.
“Each of the three restaurants has a unique look and feel that transports guests, whether it’s to a seafront coastal town, a beachside beer bar or a Japanese streetscape,” said Chef Jose Garces. “We are excited to bring these fresh concepts to Tropicana Atlantic City and know patrons will appreciate our passion for our family-inspired traditions and hospitality.”
Inspired by the ocean and vibrancy of Olón and Salinas, Ecudorian coast towns, Olón allows diners to experience the culture through Garces’ innovative fare. Located within the casino and offering stunning views of the Jersey Shore, the 9,000-square-foot restaurant seats 271 diners, indoors and out.
Elevated, beach-like cabanas create intimate dining areas within the larger dining room. A cevicheria provides theater for diners, showing the production of ceviche and other seafood specialties. To create an inviting atmosphere, dash design layered textures, including beautiful wood flooring, painted wood ceilings, painted shiplap with graphic palm leaf wallpaper, hand-crafted macramé and plants.
Bar Olón serves as an inviting entry to Olón and features a double-sided bar offering an expansive beer tap. It is open to the theater of the prep kitchen, showcasing the production of specialties. An elevated performance platform with a mural backdrop adds to the bar’s character, which is outfitted with lounge seating, custom-designed vintage-inspired fans, retro neon lighting and other authentic details.
Custom-designed, vintage-appearing fans are displayed across an expansive wall, some slowly spinning to mimic a slight breeze. Oversized bongos provide a whimsical cap to the double-sided bar, the color of bongos changing according to the time of day. Retro neon signs, sun-bleached walls, metal entry gates and lush plants complete the upbeat scene.
A brightly colored Japanese candy store that houses a bounty of local candies and treats, the unexpected entry of Okatshe, whose door is clad like its adjacent walls, opens to bright colors that soften to a dimly lit space that is reminiscent of Japan’s intimate back alleys, complete with crowds of people, smells of food and bright signage.
A hidden door opens into a lit back-alley, that creates the feeling of being on the narrow streets of the Shinjuku neighborhood of Tokyo – it suggests a feeling of urban energy brought to life by walls of concrete, tile and stone, all illuminated by Japanese street signs. The street wall is penetrated by openings into little Japanese restaurant kitchens and sake bars, inviting guests to indulge and enjoy amidst a patio filled with communal tables.
“It was our honor to incorporate these signature design elements to bring each of Chef Jose Garces’ concepts to life,” said dash design Founder and Partner David Ashen. “By marrying dining and culture with beautiful design, we have created memorable experiences for the restaurants’ diners.” Design challenges included crafting unique destinations out of a complex series of co-joined spaces and dealing with the casino floor’s limited natural light. To meet these challenges, dash design used innovative space planning and design elements to produce memorable guest dining experiences that incorporated Garces’ vision for his establishments.
dash design’s project team included Executive Creative Directors David Ashen and Siobhan Barry; Creative Director Jhipo Hong; Lead Project Manager/Designer Molly Lawenda; Lead Designer Kristin Cullen; and Illustrator Jim Su.
About dash design
Founded in 2002, dash design is led by Founder and Partner David Ashen and Partner and Executive Creative Director Siobhan Barry (former partner at ICRAVE). Known for its ability to tailor each project to answer its clients’ specific business needs, the firm updates spaces and reinvents brands throughout the US and overseas.
Clients include brand leaders and Fortune 500 companies from all over the world including Shanghai, Morocco, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Philadelphia, Miami, New York City and Aruba. Projects credited to dash design include: Mercat a la Planxa in Chicago, Distrito Restaurant in Moorestown, The Olde Bar in Philadelphia, Urban Farmer (Portland, Cleveland and Philadelphia), Toasted Oak Grill & Market, Eleven 14 Kitchen, the design and rollout of Godiva locations worldwide; the Tempur-Sealy Showroom in Las Vegas; Trollbeads 1st permanent US retail store, and Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino, multi-million-dollar renovation. dash design has received many awards, including the 2015 Outstanding Merit Award for its work on Stearns & Foster by the Retail Design Institute, 2014 Gold Key Award for The Lexington New York (IHMRS), A.R.E Design Award for Urban Farmer Cleveland (Restaurant/Casual Dining category), “One of Ten to Watch” (New York Magazine), “Retail Store of the Year” for its work with Godiva (Chain Store Age), “Wave of the Future” (Hospitality Design), “1st Place in Home Goods” (VM&SD; International Store Design Competition) and “Rising Star in Interior Design” (Fashion Group International).
dash design's work has been featured in design: retail, Bloomberg Radio, Hospitality Design, Boutique Design, Interior Design magazine, Architectural Digest, The New York Times, the Commercial Observer, Hotel Business Design, Hotel Interactive, Huffington Post, Contract, ABCnews.com and Paper Magazine. Ashen sits on the editorial board of Hotel Executive, and is a contributor to the publication.
dash design recently launched dashChat®, an ongoing series of podcast talks featuring noted brand development, design experts and other industry thought leaders. Guests have included Stacy Shoemaker Rauen, editor-in-chief of Hospitality Design magazine, and Cheryl Beall, founder of Retail 101 International. Episodes can be found on dash design’s website or here: https://soundcloud.com/user-631291153/dashchat-2.
To learn more about the company, visit www.dashdesign.net or follow dash design on LinkedIn and Facebook.