Modern Coffee Shop Renovation

The owner of Hole in the Wall Café knew immediately upon stepping into this quaint space on a bustling thoroughfare of New York City’s Financial District that he had found the ideal location to realize his vision of bringing Australian coffee culture to the States. What he didn’t know, was how to quickly turn this empty shell with minimal utilities into a warm, inviting shop that would become the “go to” spot for Manhattanites tired of the cookie cutter coffee experience. His challenge to Dixon Projects: Execute a large-scale café renovation to imbue character and charm through unique design elements on a modest budget and tight timeline.


Restoration & Rehabilitation Restoration & Rehabilitation

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Planning Planning

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Hole in the Wall: A Rustic Australian Café

Envisioning a space that would serve three meals per day, weeknight happy hours and, of course, a whole slew of caffeinated beverages, this renovation required more than just espresso machines. In addition, the space called for commercial refrigerators and add-ons like water filters and pumps—all elements that would directly impact utilities, millwork and finishes throughout.

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To start, the team installed HVAC, electrical and plumbing systems, none of which existed in the current space, to ensure comfort for patrons and code compliance for New York City’s tough regulatory guidelines.

Cafe renovation
Modern cafe construction

Next, the team worked alongside Hole in the Wall's designer to bring their ideas to life. The first step was repurposing the existing concrete floor and selecting a limited palette of simple materials to enhance a sleek design scheme. Next, the exposed sprinkler system was reused and painted black to minimize extraneous costs and add to the shop’s raw personality. 

Wood and stone serve as the main elements throughout, while polished concrete countertops contrast with custom maple millwork cabinets, paneling and furniture to create a beautifully functional space. By adorning rustic elements with copper accents and foliage, it creates a unique atmosphere that elegantly delivers a new experience as day transforms into night.
Open concept cafe

Flexible, Customized Dining Space


An emphasis was placed on making this space as flexible as possible by creating a custom banquet specially designed to extend available seating. Overhead, floating copper piping lattice with integrated lights that dim at night are surrounded by floating plants that lend a fresh, organic feel. Pegboard walls offer the opportunity for a rotation of local artists to feature their work in a variety of different installations.

Custom NYC restaurant renovation
Once a bare-boned shell sans plumbing and electrical, this Australian café now serves up a clean, minimal, industrial aesthetic and incredible coffee.
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