Casework designs minimalist yet warm interior for Justa Pasta restaurant in Portland
Justa Pasta is an Italian restaurant serving fresh pasta since 1991. The owners, a couple of windsurfers and pasta lovers, approached Casework to remodel their Portland-based restaurant after 20 years.
“The restaurant was dated and the layout hid the order counter and made this counter service restaurant hard to access. But the Italian eatery had good bones – high ceilings, an open kitchen, gorgeous natural light, and most importantly, delicious handmade pasta. The toughest aspect of this remodel was the timeline – 3 weeks. To keep to the tight schedule, we left all of the major components in the same place, including the order counter, kitchen, and restrooms. To make the ordering process as intuitive as possible, we took out the wine shelf that previously stood in the middle of the entrance. Instead of guiding the customers to the order counter, this shelf caused confusion, as it was the first thing you saw as you entered the building. The wine shelf was pushed back into the wall, completely opening the area. A large island was custom designed to fit the space, house retail products and be a natural barrier for customers waiting in line to order. It was important for this remodel to still hold a familiarity for the many regulars who frequent the restaurant. The changes made in the space were refining, but the space is still approachable. Warmth is brought to the restaurant by using industrial mixed metal finishes of copper and black and white oak wood details. The blue-gray tile was added to the order counter to balance the warmth and bring in some color to the minimal palette. Overall, our team wanted to create a space that complemented the food and was a beautiful backdrop for Justa Pasta’s patrons to enjoy the delicious food,” says Casey Keasler, founder and creative director at Casework