The face of Greenleaf Soco, an gourmet Chopshop here in Costa Mesa, was sculpted by the hand of Stephen Francis Jones -- a world-renowned architect and interior designer.
“Designing a restaurant is like designing a sports car,” says architect Stephen Francis Jones. “You might have a sleek looking body that needs a big engine and has to perform at top speed all the time. How do I keep it sexy? How do I keep it running well? How do I keep it adequate to the task of satisfying customers?”
Jones, who is well-known for his local restaurant designs such as Wolfgang Puck’s Spago, MB Post in Manhattan Beach, and the retro chain Lucky Strike Lanes, continues to be one of the burgeoning food scene’s secret weapons – a designer who works tirelessly to meet the needs of his clients in any variety of situations by listening carefully to their expectations and adapting his vision and process accordingly.
Currently Jones is set to see the opening of three new eateries, including two right down the block from each other in Santa Monica. The Redwood Grille is stylish and sophisticated and subtly suggests the great outdoors while preserving a comforting vibe of class and beauty; Del Frisco’s Grille is colorful and crowd-pleasing, with an exhibition kitchen and stunning views of Santa Monica Bay. He’s also overseeing the finishing touches on Greenleaf Chop Shop in Costa Mesa; four Java House franchises in Nairobi; an artisan pizza concept (360 Degrees) also in Kenya; rebranding the design for La Brea Bakery as well as for the Firestone Walker Brewery (Marina Del Rey) and the brewery Brouwerij West (Belmont Shores); and starting work on Greenleaf at Roger’s Garden in Corona Del Mar (his fourth Greenleaf location).
Now in its seventeenth year, SFJones Architects is renowned among Los Angeles architecture firms for designing spectacular entertainment and dining destinations that radiate fresh, balanced aesthetics, making bold statements for national and international companies. "When people go out to dinner, their expectation is to have a stimulating sensual experience involving taste, ambiance and social interaction. My objective is to make the visual experience as delicious as the food," says Jones.
The firm’s recent restaurant projects include the oceanfront Shoreline Restaurant in Northern California; Toscanova in Calabasas; Simmzy’s in Long Beach; posh Bui Sushi Bar in Malibu; the rustic family-style Lazy Dog Cafes in Cerritos, West Covina and Rancho Cucamonga; the simple, modern Italian mozzarella bar Obika in Century City; the sophisticated Grill on the Alley Westlake; developer Rick Caruso’s Amici Trattoria at Americana in Glendale, The Whisper Lounge at The Grove; the Rainbow Junyuan Plaza, a five-level retail in Kunming, China; and Greenleaf on 17th Street in Costa Mesa.
Whether creating an instantly-recognizable identity for national restaurants or cutting-edge quarters for a high-end dining destination, Jones creates dynamic environments for dining, relaxation, business and pleasure.