Ambiance is a big part of the Eddie Merlot’s experience. We want to provide an elegant atmosphere that is also comfortable; we want business associates, ladies having a nice night out and couples dining together all to feel welcome. Great lighting is functional as well as decorative and beautiful on its own, and for us, it’s a big part of how we create that perfect space.
When we’re building a new location, we’re mindful that most of the time, our guests are joining us in the evening hours. Lighting should work for both late afternoon, twilight and midnight. Our lights are also artistic in style, fitting in with the unique look of our restaurants. The tones of the lighting are flattering and match the palette of our interiors, with shades of amber, orange, cream, beige and other earth tones.
Shawn Trentlage, partner with Minneapolis-based Trellage-Ferrill, is the creator of the lighting in our latest locations. She created the lighting for our Louisville location as well as our upcoming Burr Ridge and Warrensville, Illinois, restaurants, opening in a few months.
The lighting includes large glass bowl fixtures with lots of color, and artful sconces. Shawn also created pendant lights for our bar. The designs were created for Eddie Merlot’s alone. “You will not find Eddie Merlot’s lighting in any other restaurant space,” Shawn tells us. “The lighting is a twist on classic shapes, and very contemporary.”
For Shawn, the Eddie Merlot’s projects are particularly welcome. She enjoys working with contractors, architects and Eddie Merlot’s upper management in designing lighting for a space that’s being built. It allows her more flexibility in terms of what she designs.
The largest bowl designs for the Louisville location were time-consuming to create, Shawn says. Her studio creates a disc out of raw glass which bakes in a kiln for two days. The glass discs are placed inside a stainless steel mold shaped like a bowl, and placed in the kiln again for another two and a half days.
The lighting is installed as one of the last items in the restaurants to keep it from being damaged during the construction process. Shawn’s company personally crated the fixtures in Minnesota and drove them to Louisville for installation to ensure they would be handled properly and wouldn’t break. “To lose a bowl that late in the process would really delay things,” Shawn notes, since each bowl takes nearly five days of kiln time just to make the glass.
Shawn made 10 bowl chandelier fixtures and more than 30 sconces, and she’s very pleased with the end result. So are we! “It’s a beautiful space,” Shawn says. “The lighting is a nice complement to it.”