Bob Evans Restaurants are part of the Ohio landscape. The company began in the 1950s as a sausage shop on the original family farm in Rio Grand, Ohio. Today Bob Evans comprises nearly 600 stores throughout the Midwest.
The studio partnered with Bob Evans Farms Corporation to imagine a new type of dining experience for a new audience. In looking to reach a new customer base – one that is younger and can grow with the company – new markets, sites and experiences are considered. If Bob Evans moves from a stand-alone restaurant located near the highway, to an urban-infill site next to a college campus, for example, how is the architecture and dining experience reconfigured?
The studio envisioned five possible scenarios: A downtown infill site aimed at young professionals and featuring grab-and-go sandwiches; a campus-oriented site aimed at a festive college crowd, focusing on over-scaled architecture and food; a food distribution center and food-truck hub for the adventurous foodie; a Grocery Store aimed at students featuring the company’s prepared foods; and a pared-down Gastropub located in a boutique neighborhood to capture the urban sophisticate. Each urban site, food typology and customer base play into different expectations of the architectural expression. How is experience crafted through building, food, site, interior and brand?