Experts Vintage Sourcebook

Food & Wine: Vinegar Hill House
Vinegar Hill House’s designer, Sam Buffa, turned reclaimed wood into tables and old bleachers into banquettes. Photo courtesy of Josh Farley.
Restaurant designers are creating fabulous spaces with salvaged and vintage pieces, using everything from Thai wooden railroad ties to 1960s Sputnik-style lamps.

Vintage meets eco-conscious in the designs of some of the best (and best-looking) new restaurants around the country. Tables are made from reclaimed old-growth wood, for instance, or lighting fixtures are salvaged from a landmark hotel. For many designers, the goal is to create a space that feels personal and one-of-a-kind. “I like the sense of authenticity that reclaimed and vintage pieces provide,” says Shawn Hausman, who filled Butcher and Singer in Philadelphia with everything from armchairs from a 1960s cruise ship to white resin floor lamps from Miami Beach’s neo-baroque Eden Roc hotel. Here, four designers share their favorite vintage and salvage sources.

Vinegar Hill House

Courtesy of Ingalls Photo

Vinegar Hill House • Brooklyn, New York

Co-owner and designer Sam Buffa was inspired by the neighborhood’s industrial heyday in the 1800s.

Chair Up Retro-looking bentwood chairs ($125;

Grand Brass Lamp Parts For fixing flea-market finds (

Olde Good Things Reclaimed wood that Buffa turned into tables (from $650;

Recycling The Past Bleacher boards used for banquettes ($3.50 per linear ft;

Secondhand Rose Vintage wallpaper from the 1940s (from $100 per double roll;

Van Dyke’s Restorers Cast-iron shelf brackets ($13 a pair;

Butcher and Singer

Courtesy of Starr Restaurants

Butcher and Singer • Philadelphia

“We wanted to reference everything from classic steak houses to old Hollywood nightclubs,” says designer Shawn Hausman.

Architectural Artifacts The bull’s head from Uruguay ($5,000) and griffin water spout ($165;

Glo Mid Century Modern The Sputnik-style chandelier ($3,750) and gold-leafed fixture ($3,775; 305-758-2727 or

Magnolia Gastropub

© Jennifer Yin/Eater SF

Magnolia Gastropub & Brewery • San Francisco

“The space was built in 1903 and was once a pharmacy,” says owner Dave McLean, who kept the medicine drawers by the bar.

The Wooden Duck The bar and tables, made from salvaged old-growth Douglas fir (from $1,900;

The Sink Factory The cast-iron bathroom sink (from $600;

Urban Belly

Courtesy of Yasmina Cadiz

Urbanbelly • Chicago

“We wanted to mix color and minimalism, to be eco but understated,” says designer Yvonne Cadiz-Kim, chef Bill Kim’s wife.

The Golden Triangle Tables made from 200-year-old elm wood salvaged from a house in China ($8,500), stacked stools from scraps of weathered Thai teak ($350) and benches from Thai rosewood railroad ties ($2,200;

Restaurants & Style:

The Dish
Receive delicious recipes and smart wine advice 4x per week in this e-newsletter.
The Wine List Weekly pairing plus best bottles to buy.
F&W Daily One sensational dish served fresh every day.

Sponsored Stories

powered by ZergNet