Project Spotlight: Pura Vida Shines for Cleveland Restaurant Week 2013

In recent years Cleveland has enjoyed a revolution all its own – that of its vibrant culinary scene.  From downtown fine dining to suburban bistros, from national accolade in media outlets to native Clevelanders boasting of the region’s culinary accomplishments on television, Cleveland has become a national “foodie” hotspot- and we Clevelanders know how to celebrate it.

Friday is the start of Downtown Cleveland’s 6th Annual Restaurant Week, which spans two weekends this year (February 22nd – March 3rd, 2013).  with specials, promotions, and new dishes from Cleveland’s finest upscale chefs, including the culinary icon Brandt Evans of Pura Vida in Public Square.

Pura Vida on Public Square in the historic May Company Building is sure to get attention during the 6th Annual Cleveland Restaurant Week.

Bialosky + Partners Architects designed the urban-cool restaurant Pura Vida for Brandt, which opened in 2011- so we asked Brandt, now over a year of cooking, entertaining, and breathing in the new restaurant, for his perspective on the space.

” My ascetic vision of Pura Vida came alive with the talents of Bialosky + Partners Architects and team. The creation of a changing light mode is one of my favorite pieces. We can transform the feel of the day with the 16,000 LED lighting system bouncing off the scrim design to change color in a multitude of patterns. The plunging of the scrims in the lounge adds a sense of panache and style to the modern feel of Pura Vida. This gives us the opportunity to enhance the season or occasion simply by hitting a switch and can really set the tone for the guest experience.”

Brandt’s other favorite feature about his 4,000 sf restaurant is the sharing/flexibility of space and program with the adjacent Cuyahoga Community College’s Hospitality Management Center. “The garage door on the east wall that will open into the lobby of the Tri-C Hospitality Management Center. This allows us to more than double our space for events and parties. Unlike anything around, we can not only host groups within Pura Vida’s walls, but we have the flexibility to capture larger scale events and showcase two unique venues as one.”

Pura Vida shares spaces with CCC’s Hospitality Management Center with operable walls and windows.

Cuyahoga Community Center’s Hospitality Management Center, adjacent to Pura Vida, offers a new academic/practice hybrid prototype where students and professional Chefs can share spaces.

With a patio right on Public Square, Brandt believes this “is another trait that makes Pura Vida complete. The wall of windows showcases the beautiful views of Public Square and the Soldiers and Sailors Monument. The sliding glass windows can also slide open to create the indoor/outdoor feel for all of our guests and take advantage of the beautiful spring and fall seasons we experience in Cleveland”.

Pura Vida has the unique ability to spatially transform moods, and offer different environments under one roof between the patio on Public Square, the lounge underneath an integrate fabric chandelier, the bar crafted from dismantled/reclaimed local wood. “As a Chef/owner in downtown Cleveland, my visualization was to build a unique venue that set us apart from the  heavily dominate restaurant industry, and with the amazing talents and vision of Bialosky + Partners Architects, we have consummated the ambiance of my dream in creating a cutting edge restaurant!” So, find a seat, and accept this as an invitation to see what Brandt has cooking for you during Cleveland Restaurant Week – a three course dinner for $30 per person (restrictions apply) starting at 4pm.

The lounge ceiling is filled with a chandelier that’s theatrically lit with color changing LEDs, allowing the restaurant to transform the mood of the space as desired between meals, seasonally, or for special events.

All the wood elements are constructed of reclaimed wood from two houses recently dismantled within the city’s limits. A Piece of Cleveland (APOC) crafted this intricate wood backdrop for Pura Vida’s bar. These wood elements aid in bringing the high open ceilings of the existing department store down to a human scale.

The sustainable nature of the facility is addressed through the use of high efficiency equipment and lighting and the conservative usage of construction materials.

The sustainable nature of the facility is addressed with high-efficiency equipment and lighting and the conservative usage of construction materials.

“Bialosky + Partners Architects has accomplished one step in Cleveland repairing Cleveland. While working in the historic May Company building, they have captured the essence of the history while creating a modern, chic feel that enhanced Cleveland as a top notch city.” -Brandt Evans, Chef of Pura Vida.

You can join Pura Vida’s newsletter at http://www.puravidabybrandt.com/and follow Pura Vida on Facebook for all upcoming events.

Photography accredited to Scott Pease.