Torrefazione Italia

Seatte, WA
Posted March 22, 2000

Opening a coffee bar in Seattle, the home of the world's largest coffee chain, might seem like business suicide, but Torrefazione Italia ("The Warmth of Italy") is doing just fine, thank you. What's the secret? The coffeehouse has a passion for its product that is reflected in the design (by GGLO Inc., Seattle) of the latest store, an update of the authentic Italian streetside café.

The store's centerpiece is a 15-foot curved mahogany and marble bar, which reflects the richness of the product. Elsewhere, vibrant colors and decorative lighting give the café a sense of fun, while signature Deruda pottery emphasizes its Italian character. Patrons can sit at any of several clusters of seats inside, and access to streetside seating is quick and easy. It all goes to show that, no matter how strong the competition is, there's always room for another way to do it right.

Design: GGLO Architecture and Interior Design, Seattle -- Bill Gaylord, principal-in-charge; Dave Heinen, project manager; Todd Bertelloti, project architect; Colleen Knowles, interior designer; Wendy Chang, staff architect

General Contractor: De Johnson, Seattle

Suppliers/Fabricators: Interior Woodworking Specialists, Redmond, Wash. (casework); Brentano, Northbrook, Ill. (banquette fabric); Architex, Northbrook, Ill. (fabric); Partners-in-Time, Seattle (fixturing); United Tile, Seattle (flooring); Falcon, St. Louis (chairs); Pioneer, Marysville, Wash. (tables); Lightolier, Fall River Mass. (lighting); Poulsen Lighting Inc., Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (lighting); Prescolite, div. of Lighting Corp. of America, San Leandro, Calif. (lighting); Tubeart, Seattle (signage); Seattle Commercial Sign, Seattle (signage); Benjamin Moore, Montvale, N.J. (paint)

Photography: Pete Eckert, Portland, Ore.