Custom lighting delivers a local flavor at Ruth’s Chris
Since its birth in New Orleans, Ruth’s Chris Steak House has grown into a widely-praised collection of local steak houses. Over several decades Ruth’s Chris has acquired a reputation for upscale dining in a warm and comfortable environment in its locations across the USA and around the world.
Broadmoor Design Group has provided design services for many of the restaurant’s locations, and the firm was again engaged for the renovation of the Metairie, LA location.
“We wanted to achieve a noticeable contrast between before and after the renovation, while maintaining the recognizable Ruth’s Chris feel,” explained Donna Trotter, Project Director at Broadmoor Design Group, “The existing design had little decorative lighting, so we felt this was an area we could make a noticeable impact.”
Colors are important in the restaurant, and the reds and blacks of the Ruth’s Chris logo feature prominently in the furniture and lighting throughout. These combine with antique silver and dark bronze accents against a backing of rich wood detailing.
“As with all of the Ruth’s Chris locations we work on, we wanted to bring local and regional influence into the restaurant,” said Donna Trotter, “this is reflected in the materials we chose and the lighting elements we included.”
Drawing on local culture for design inspiration, the firm turned to Bloom Lighting Group to help create custom lighting elements to provide the sense of elegance, playfulness and whimsy that the restaurant is known for.
The lighting in the main dining area is typical of the local French influence. Pendants with a distinctive concave brass body are suspended with a dark bronze rod and accompanying decor chain.
A dark bronze patterned frame surrounds a faux alabaster shade, and a stylized fleur-de-lis sits below the intersection of antique silver leaf center lines. The fleur-de-lis is finished with a red glass decorative ball, a nod to Mardi Gras beads, and a design element that is constant on the lighting fixtures throughout the restaurant. Each fixture spans 36” and is fitted with four E12 sockets.
Distinctive pendants line the seated area around the bar. Suspended by a smooth chain with a dark bronze finish, these fixtures have an antique silver decor part and faux silk pleated shades. Decorative red balls sit above and below the shade, and a dark bronze finial completes the fixture at its lowest point.
This design element is carried to the bar itself where wall sconces share the same style of faux silk shade mounted atop a dark bronze lamp stem and backplate. Ten antique silver leaf half balls adorn the perimeter of the back plate.
There is a private dining room in the bar area with two lighting types. A circular pendant hangs 38” from the ceiling and is reflected in two mirrors to form a center piece. The dark bronze chain, antique silver leaf decor part, faux silk fabric shade, red glass balls and dark bronze finial are all elements that are familiar from the lighting in the bar area. This fixture is 16¼” in diameter, has two E12 sockets and is finished off with a frosted acrylic diffuser.
Also in the private dining area, wall mounted lamps provide extra personality. A tapered stem design alternates between dark bronze and antique silver leaf hoops. A small red glass ball finishes off its narrowest end while a larger ball provides the transition to the shade. Again, a faux silk shade is used.
A nostalgic lantern fixture hangs in the stairwell. Reminiscent of lighting seen in New Orleans’ French quarter, it features elements that carry through the design theme from elsewhere in the restaurant. Predominantly finished in dark bronze, a custom made rectangular chain descends to carry a six lamp candelabra base encased by four clear glass panels. The fixture also features antique silver leaf half balls like those on the wall sconces in the bar, and the fleur-de-lis and red glass sphere below the lamp as in the main dining area.
This same style of lantern is replicated above the exit at the foot of the stairs with a four lamp wall mounted version. The stairwell area is completed with a circular pendant at the top of the stairs that has a similar style to the lighting in the main dining area.