Saturday, December 1, 2007

Stone Wins The People's Choice "Orchid"!

I went to the ceremonies last night for the San Diego Architectural Foundation's Annual "Orchids & Onions" Awards. Although I, and many people love onions, in the case of these awards they have been relegated to negative status. Perhaps because onions are stinky? Or more likely that "Orchids & Okra" made even less sense.

It was quite an honor to receive the People's Choice award.

The Jury's comments were equally flattering (quoting from the San Diego Union-Tribune story):

The People's Orchid, by a 79 percent vote, went to Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens in Escondido, a restaurant and beer garden developed by Stone Brewing Co. McCullough's committee summarized the public's love of the place this way:

“The voters were enchanted by the open and airy interior and the seamless indoor/outdoor connection via floor to ceiling glass doors. The element that drew the most attention of voters was the huge outdoor patio and garden animated by waterfalls and fire pits. Stone Brewing World is a destination very much in tune with Southern California living.”

The jury had glowing comments for the Orchids it bestowed.

It liked the interior designs of the Anthology jazz club in Little Italy and the Guild restaurant in Barrio Logan, the former for its sophistication and the latter for its success despite a small budget.

It was easy to agree with the Jury's "Orchid" awards to two other new restaurants that are located in the downtown area of San Diego -- The Guild, and Anthology -- as they are both stunning places that are uniquely...unique.

The North County Times also covered the awards.

Not knowing the format of the awards ceremony, I must admit that I was not properly prepared with notes to guide my acceptance speech.

As a result of not being prepared with notes, I made the gaff of not mentioning Hamann Construction and specifically Job Superintendent John Belcher. We could not have gotten the result we did without John and his team...and their talent and flexibility. These guys were much more accustom to building more 'standard' tilt-up warehouses -- projects that require a high degree of technical proficiency, but don't offer much in the creativity department -- however they successfully tapped both their significant skills, and their inner Michelangelos to create our incredible result.

These photos from March 8, 2006 show them in action, working on the bamboo planter and indoor water feature:

This "Greg's vBlog" video from April 22, 2006 gives further perspective:

Also deserving special thanks is Matt Jerman and his team at Landscape Plus. Much more than a landscape 'contractor / installer,' Matt worked with me on a daily basis to transform the outline of the plans to the natural and rustic result that we got. We simply could not have done it without him. Additionally, Randy of KRC Rock with their "rock moving rig" had a talent for just the right touch with two-to-twelve-ton boulders to coax them into nestling just the right way.

This 24 minute long Greg's vBlog from August 11, 2006 gives further looks at these guys doing their thing:

Fortunately, I didn't gaff SO bad that I didn't properly mention our architect, Andy Kjellberg ('shell-berg') of McArdle Associates Architects. Day after day, week after week, month after month...and *Phew!*...year after year, Andy kept all the innumerable pieces of the complex project in sync. From the practicalities of an 8,000 square foot coldbox and truck docks at one end, the mid section of bottling, kegging, brewing, and offices, to the Stone Store, the restaurant and gardens at the opposite.

Magically, it all flows as if we actually designed it that way! My thanks to everyone that worked for so long on what we called in all-encompassing and simplifying terms the "New Brewery Project." We couldn't have done it without you!

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