Alexander Kwong for Proprietors LLC
Architect – OKB Architects
Contractor – Ferrante Koberling
Client – Fierro Foods
W. Wolfskill is a craft cocktail bar and kitchen in historic downtown Riverside, California, the first of it's kind in the Inland Empire. The client wanted to create a destination bar with a distinctive space and identity to complement his existing restaurant on the same street.
Working with beverage and hospitality consulting group Proprietors LLC, the concept for W. Wolfskill was developed from a desire to celebrate Riverside's history as the birthplace of citrus agriculture. The space, which dates back to the turn of the century, has been redesigned with an aesthetic inspired by famous Californian reclusive gentlemen such as Steve McQueen, Howard Hughes, and William Randolph Hearst. White oak millwork and a blackened steel clad bar compliment the exposed redwood rafters to create a warm, refined look that invokes the spirit of citrus packing houses. WW Chairs and Stools provide a color pop in the bar's signature shade of red-orange. A large, plywood back bar puts the entirety of the bar on display, with various bar tools, glasses, and bottles carefully and obsessively arranged in LED backlit cubbies. The message marquee looks out on the double height dining area, with booths arranged on an elevated platform on the opposing wall. A small lounge area allows for more intimate atmosphere and also doubles as a performance space.
The branding identity of W. Wolfskill is derived from the idea of an alternate universe version of William Wolfskill, who like Willard Whyte in Diamonds are Forever, is obsessed with putting his monogram on everything, from movie studios to cocktail bars. Several different logos were created that follow a loose narrative of various companies that Wolfskill could have owned, with graphic influences from various art styles, from art deco to space age. These logos line the walls of the bar in fictional correspondence letters from Wolfskill to his employees. A contemporary branding indentity was developed from these studies, with collateral that utilizes office supplies, binding tape, and masonite board to compliment the industrial office look of the space.
Photo Credit: Steve King