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The Erie Grill

Pittsford, New York

Originally a rail depot built alongside the Erie Canal, the site has evolved into a luxury hotel, spa and restaurant in the historic Village of Pittsford, NY. The Erie Grill, built in the late 1990s as a renovation and addition to the hotel, was small, had awkward circulation, and did not take advantage of its proximity to the canal.


The owner decided to reinvent the restaurant with a new menu and a renovated space. Design challenges included: working within the Village’s strict historic district guidelines; staying within a defined footprint; and pushing the envelope of the corporate hotel finish standards. It was also critical that the space easily transition from early morning through late night to accommodate hotel guests and visitors.


Building upon the emerging trend of hotel restaurants becoming more unique, priorities included: providing straight-forward circulation; providing flexible, differentiated dining spaces; and reinforcing a strong visual connection between the restaurant and the active canal path.


The solution was to raise the ceiling and introduce recessed elements to define space. A curving circulation spine ties all areas together, with restaurant entrances at each end (the hotel entrance and exterior entrance). The datum is reinforced by the floor and ceiling materials. The centrally-located bar was tripled in length and links the lounge to the main dining area. Two strategic “bay window” additions project out towards the canal and provide flexible banquette seating and scenic views. The finish palette is neutral and takes full advantage of natural light. The space is designed to allow for smooth transitions from early morning to late night, a necessity for hotel restaurants.

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