Coffee Talk

Dlush Lounge at San Diego’s Rock Church cultivates conversation and community
Posted January 9, 2014

With religious services similar to a “rock concert,” as described by Nathan Colkitt of Colkitt&Co (San Diego), The Rock Church in San Diego recently sought a facelift for its outdated cafeteria to reflect its youthful, energetic mission. Boasting upward of 12,000-plus regular congregants, the megachurch is spread across three campuses and led by Pastor Miles McPherson, a former NFL San Diego Chargers’ defensive back.

Located in the back of a bookstore at its Point Loma campus, the cafeteria was being used by private school students, staff and churchgoers alike. The new concept would need to appeal to conversationalists and loungers of all ages.

"The Rock is very progressive and said, 'look, we're a non-traditional, young-minded church that is inclusive to all. We want to open our doors to the community at large and partner with local companies to create something special with an edgy twist that works within our budget,'" Colkitt says.

With that in mind, the church approached Dlush (San Diego) – a private company – to take over the space. Both entities laid down stipulations in order to create the deal. For example, Dlush agreed to provide food items in addition to its familiar smoothies and coffee to accommodate the church’s need for an eatery.

“We wanted to create a place that … opened up the conventional seating areas that expand around that area. And to have a place without a true storefront or windows … was really tough,” Colkitt says.

To create demarcations between the bookstore and lounge, the front of the space features a column with signage, along with contrasting ceiling and floor treatments.

With the project’s completion, Dlush now encompasses a stage for events, a full kitchen and bright signage and seating to match The Rock Church’s dynamic fellowship.

Dlush, San Diego

Design and Architecture
Colkitt&Co, San Diego: Nathan Lee Colkitt, principal and ceo

Hollis Brand Culture, San Diego

Graphic Production
Moebius Digital Color, San Diego

Foodservice Design Consultant
Orness Design Group, San Diego

Mechanical and Electrical
KLH Engineers, Fort Thomas, Ky.

General Contractor
Charlie Dusenbury, Fallbrook, Calif.

Cheryl Ramsay, San Diego