2011 – DGBG + Daniel Boulud

A Leather Jacket, A Motorbike + Soufflé of course

Daniel had seen one of our new projects that had recently opened in Chicago an SRG restaurant called Mercat. That prompted him to call to ask if we’d be interested in collaborating with him on a new concept he was planning to open on the Bowery in Manhattan. We next found ourselves getting under the skin of what would become DBGB Kitchen + Bar. Daniel’s POV on a great neighborhood brasserie with a downtown twist included bangers and beer, a late-nite attitude for all of his friends to gather and of course adventures to follow . . .

Graced with Daniel’s unique touch and team, and laced with an interpretive take on an industrial hood, filled with restaurant supply shops and quirky wholesalers, and located just steps from the storied home of CBGB where punk was literally born – we riffed on its industrial grit and hand-crafted an “anti-brand” for DBGB in the spirit of this distinctive place. Bravo to Thomas Schlesser’s interiors that were both true to place and beautifully inventive, including the personally signed copper pots send from Daniel’s Chef friends around the world to stock the shelves. We are sad to see the doors close on the spirited birthplace in NYC but you can now find its new sister in Washington, D.C.

We are grateful to have heeded Daniel’s call and now call him a friend. One of the most generous and kind-hearted people in the business, we know that fun and integrity come on each culinary adventure we take together.

Merci.

View Project > 

We are excited to share 25 pivotal projects, partnerships and creative moments with you over the next six months. Subscribe to our Newsletter to get monthly updates of our 25 years of projects. Follow us on Instagram to see more behind the scenes at Korn over the last 25 years!

2010 – The Palm Restaurant Group

So the phone rings and it’s Bruce Bozzi, fourth generation of the family-owned and beloved Palm Restaurants. Did you know that The Palm was first opened on the East Side of Manhattan in 1921 by Italian immigrants from Parma? The legacy and history behind this storied family of restaurants is palpable. Bruce had called to talk to us about developing a new website for the company. Fast forward to 2010 Korn worked closely with Bruce and his entire team relaunch a complete brand refresh for The Palm Restaurant Group – across 25 restaurants in the U.S. and Mexico, to secure it’s place for generations to come.

We started by talking with Bruce’s father, Bruce Bozzi, Sr. and uncle Wally Ganzi to gain their confidence and permission to help steward their family legacy. We then dug deep, collecting memorabilia from the very early days and interviewing team members with upwards of 30+ years with the company. Our approach was to peel back to the essence of what The Palm stands for, what is core to its loyal following after so many years, and its relevance in today’s market. The result was powerful.

With its enduring legacy in mind, we redrew the original Palm logotype referencing original menus and matchbooks we found on E-Bay. We also created a hand-written typeface, signature to The Palm.

View Project > 

We are excited to share 25 pivotal projects, partnerships and creative moments with you over the next six months. Subscribe to our Newsletter to get monthly updates of our 25 years of projects. Follow us on Instagram to see more behind the scenes at Korn over the last 25 years!

2005 – SUMMER SHACK

Food is Love.

The vision was to reinvent New England’s beloved classic summertime seafood shack, capturing the essence of the quintessential roadside experience and making it available all year round. What’s not to love? We had a lot of fun working with the dream team behind Summer Shack, Patrick Lyons, entertainment + restaurant renegade and Chef Jasper White, acclaimed restaurateur and seafood expert. Now that’s a lobster . . . and it’s not even our favorite thing on the menu!

The “Food Is Love.” phrase was coined early on by Jasper while fleshing out of the concept and familiar – meets – iconic menu. At its core the ultra-casual ambiance of this “seafood shack on steroids” had to have great but simple food made from the heart.

We wanted the entire expression of the Summer Shack brand to follow suit. Intent to capture the mom-and-pop aspect of the seasonal oceanside “seafood shacks” we used hand-lettered throughout, including the primary logo with its iconic red bubble-style lettering and spirited ad campaigns. We also cut and pasted and taped together the menu content, stationery elements, nothing was held precious or allowed to feel computer generated, The result is a timeless visual system that just feels right.

We are excited to share 25 pivotal projects, partnerships and creative moments with you over the next six months. Subscribe to our Newsletter to get monthly updates of our 25 years of projects. Follow us on Instagram to see more behind the scenes at Korn over the last 25 years!

1993-2017 – To Go Bakery, Hooch & Holly’s, Kid’s Can Cook, FLUX, MAX ULTIMATE FOOD

“The best part of working with Korn Design is that you go to them with an idea and you leave with an entire vision.” – Dan Mathieu

In 1991 Denise Korn had just relocated to Boston and tried to get Dan Mathieu to hire her to train as a pastry chef in his bakery in Boston’s South End. His advice was to stick to her lane and stay true to her passion for design. When Korn hung its shingle in 1992, Dan Mathieu – the wildly creative mind behind so many magical culinary adventures – became one of our first clients and the rest is history.

The ToGo Bakery was one of our very first projects, followed by Hooch & Holly’s in Ogunquit, Maine (1997), FLUX in Boston’s South End (2002) and then the birth of MAX Ultimate Food (2001) that continues to thrive all over New England. Mix in Dan’s incredibly philanthropic dedication to community and Kid’s Can Cook (1997), shined brightly for young chefs across the city.

Every project was very personal for Dan, as are his relationships with each of his team members, clients and partners. His passion for art and making things evolved in parallel with the revolution he has been cooking up at every turn. An avid gardener, woodworker, painter, tinkerer, crafter and visionary, Dan pulls from all around him to find inspiration and ideas for what he’s serving and the environments he creates to surround each experience and inspiring Korn to weave this into each brand’s texture and personality.

Today, nature, artfulness and humanity are at the core of the MAX Ultimate Food chapter. Alongside partner Neal Balkowitsch, since its inception, we can’t wait to see what’s in store at each MAX event!

We are excited to share 25 pivotal projects, partnerships and creative moments with you over the next six months. Subscribe to our Newsletter to get monthly updates of our 25 years of projects. Follow us on Instagram to see more behind the scenes at Korn over the last 25 years!

A THANKFUL FEAST

WITH A DASH OF KORN ON THE SIDE.
Feast your eyes on our full course of tastes + tidbits, sushi + soufflés, lobster + libations.

We are grateful to have set the table, set the stage, and disrupted the culinary scene across the U.S. along side some of the most inspirational and hard working talent we know: foodies with big hearts and bold creativity, a dash of Korn and a lot of fun on the side.

1993 – 2017 – To Go Bakery, Hooch & Holly’s, Kid’s Can Cook, FLUX, MAX ULTIMATE FOOD
Dan Mathieu, the wildly creative mind behind so many magical culinary adventures, has worked with Korn since we first hung our shingle in 1992. The ToGo Bakery was one of our very first projects, followed by Hooch & Holly’s in Ogunquit, Maine (1997), FLUX in Boston’s South End (2002) and then the birth of MAX Ultimate Food (2001) that continues to thrive all over New England. Mix in Dan’s incredibly philanthropic dedication to community and Kid’s Can Cook (1997), shined brightly for young chefs across the city. View Project >

2005 – SUMMER SHACK
The vision was to reinvent New England’s beloved classic summertime seafood shack, capturing the essence of the quintessential roadside experience and making it available all year round. What’s not to love? We had a lot of fun working with the dream team behind Summer Shack, Patrick Lyons, entertainment + restaurant renegade and Chef Jasper White, acclaimed restaurateur and seafood expert. Now that’s a lobster . . . and it’s not even our favorite thing on the menu! View Project >

2010 – The Palm Restaurant Group
So the phone rings and it’s Bruce Bozzi, fourth generation of the family-owned and beloved Palm Restaurants. Did you know that The Palm was first opened on the East Side of Manhattan in 1921 by Italian immigrants from Parma? The legacy and history behind this storied family of restaurants is palpable. Bruce had called to talk to us about developing a new website for the company. Fast forward to 2010 Korn worked closely with Bruce and his entire team relaunch a complete brand refresh for The Palm Restaurant Group – across 25 restaurants in the U.S. and Mexico, to secure it’s place for generations to come. View Project >

2011 – DBGB + Daniel Boulud
Daniel had seen one of our new projects that had recently opened in Chicago an SRG restaurant called Mercat. That prompted him to call to ask if we’d be interested in collaborating with him on a new concept he was planning to open on the Bowery in Manhattan. We next found ourselves getting under the skin of what would become DBGB Kitchen + Bar. Daniel’s POV on a great neighborhood brasserie with a downtown twist included bangers and beer, a late-nite attitude for all of his friends to gather and of course adventures to follow . .  . View Project >

We are excited to share 25 pivotal projects, partnerships and creative moments with you over the next six months. Subscribe to our Newsletter to get monthly updates of our 25 years of projects. Follow us on Instagram to see more behind the scenes at Korn over the last 25 years!

2009 – Rebranding Our First Ballet Company

Boston Ballet

With a long love of dance and a huge heart for celebrating the performing arts in Boston we embraced the opportunity to relaunch the Boston Ballet brand in sync with it’s new home at the Opera House in 2009. With Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen injecting the company with new energy, creative freedom and an eye on firmly securing a place on the world’s stage for Boston Ballet, the time was right to set this pivotal work into motion.

As always, Korn Design took a deep and holistic approach to unearthing the big story behind this incredible institution. The main move here for us was to break down ALL that Boston Ballet stands for into three aspects: On The Stage, In the Studio, and In the Community and most importantly to make “ballet” as an artform more accessible to everyone.

The new brand itself gave the company a freshly minted and sophisticated look and feel to best reflect it’s true DNA. Intentionally not static, eternally in motion, the typography was crafted with a precise balance and tension, as the dancers achieve in body and soul.

We celebrated the launch of the new brand by bringing together Boston Ballet with then reknowned Boston-based urban street-wear company Karmaloop to host a fashion-show and party at the recently opened Liberty Hotel. As part of our “Rethink Ballet” campaign, this was a pivotal moment in the company’s history and for Boston as well. Sexy, fresh, accessible and relevant, Mikko had reset the stage for Boston Ballet.

Ticket sales immediately rose and the demographics of the audience grew to attract younger and more diverse ballet-lovers.

In 2013, Boston Ballet celebrated its 50th anniversary with a triumphant performance of its annual “Night of Stars”gala, drawing a crowd of 55,000 to a free performance in the Boston Common.

“The Boston Ballet has begun to create what all the world’s ballet companies are desperately after today: an identity.”
Boston Magazine

View Project > 

We are excited to share 25 pivotal projects, partnerships and creative moments with you over the next six months. Subscribe to our Newsletter to get monthly updates of our 25 years of projects. Follow us on Instagram to see more behind the scenes at Korn over the last 25 years!

2007 – Our First James Beard Award

The Corner Office

So then there was Pete.

Peter Karpinski joined Sage Hospitality in 2005 to launch the new Sage Restaurant Group. We instantly hit it off and started creating together. The Corner Office was our first restaurant concept for SRG . . . Pulling from our own experiences from all over the globe and rooted in learning from some powerful mentors over the years we felt at home mixing a little irreverence together with what we both felt was a big opportunity to answer to what people were really looking for with casual dining in their lives. With humble honesty, if you would have ever told me that this crazy, sexy, fun restaurant bar concept that we drummed up together would get the notice of the James Beard Foundation I might have giggled. From the get-go this early SRG concept was intended to disrupt the Denver food scene and change the game for what was possible in the story behind the culinary experience.

In true Pete form, he pushed us and we pushed ourselves to grow this concept from new origins and stay true to that course all the way through. Riffing off of what “the corner office” had come to represent in the glass tower of the 1980’s, that “tony private office” reserved for the CEO our Corner Office was meant for all.

In visualizing the essence of what happens around the water cooler, a typical “day at the office” and then of course what happens after hours and everything in between  we scouted a funky office-space that was getting ready for a complete renovation and we hired real people to model for us through a casting on Craig’s list to generate the black and white photography behind The Corner Office brand story. Keeping it accessible and on the edge, the photography matched against a super strong  identity that we purposely teased out through a hidden digital experience and surprises that continue to unfold.

As Javier and I sat in the audience at Lincoln Center for the 2009 James Beard Awards, we were honored to just be there in the company of the world’s best chefs, culinary leaders in design and hospitality. When they announced that we had won for The Corner Office complete shock ensued . . .  I grabbed Javier’s hand and pulled him up on the stage with me to accept our award. Completely unprepared is simply said, “I guess sex sells. Thank you!

View Project > 

We are excited to share 25 pivotal projects, partnerships and creative moments with you over the next six months. Subscribe to our Newsletter to get monthly updates of our 25 years of projects. Follow us on Instagram to see more behind the scenes at Korn over the last 25 years!

1998 – Our First Independent Hotel

The Charles Hotel

Denise Korn was introduced to Dick Friedman and his team at Carpenter and Company in 1997 by her close high school friend Darren Messina. Korn Design owes our first entré into the hospitality industry to Darren who thought it was a good idea to engage Korn Design to support Carpenter & Company’s development projects with creative direction, design and marketing support. Thank you Darren! Dick has always been a real visionary, testing new waters and pushing boundaries in smart ways. He had developed one of the country’s first mixed-use development projects, Charles Square, in the heart of Cambridge, Massachusetts and in 1997 was thinking it was time for a refresh. It was here, at The Charles Hotel, that Denise thinks of as earning her PHD in hospitality and Korn gained a visionary client and true creative partner.

Denise served as the consulting Creative Director to the property for nearly 10 years. Korn Design collaborated closely with Dick at the helm and the hotel’s management team to craft every aspect of the guest experience from restaurants to rooms to conference spaces to defining what “sense of place” meant here. We reinvented spaces and cut our teeth alongside world-class architects Cambridge Seven Associates and interior designers to lovingly care for this very distinctive place.

This was fertile ground to really “think local” and although this is now a trendy buzz word, Dick made sure that The Charles Hotel was always tied deeply to its community and sourced anything and everything from local New England artisans, growers, furniture makers and chefs. With the paired down purity of the shaker-inspired details contrasted with the warmth of Corbusier seating in the lobby, the hotel has an energy and life of it’s own that has withstood the test of time and continues to shine.

Serving as both a happy place and an intellectual hub, we were constantly inventing new programming that was relevant for the eclectic Cambridge clientele from world leaders and rock stars drawn to this intellectual corner of the globe to a wide swath of young talent and international visitors alike. Famous for it’s jazz club, the Regattabar, its annual Jazz Festival and home to Jody Adams’ Rialto and Chef Peter Davis’s, Henrietta’s Kitchen, two of the best Chefs in the U.S., who inspire daily with their passion and commitment to their guests and the world. Together we were constantly tending to feeding heart and head with meaningful experiences.

We were intimately involved with establishing brand alliances, such as J Crew for the uniforms and commissioning a custom quilt for the guestrooms with Annie Selke of Pine Cone Hill. We curated the hotel’s early American quilt collection and created a walking tour of the hotel’s art collection in partnership with the Cambridge Art Association. Lots of firsts here, from the hand-crafted wooden wayfinding signage to award-winning ad campaigns, we will always hold a special place in our hearts for this place and all that we created there together.

View Project > 

We are excited to share 25 pivotal projects, partnerships and creative moments with you over the next six months. Subscribe to our Newsletter to get monthly updates of our 25 years of projects. Follow us on Instagram to see more behind the scenes at Korn over the last 25 years!

1997-2017 – Our First Restaurant

VESTA, 20 years + counting!

More than 21 years ago I was visiting with family for Thanksgiving when I noticed a business plan sitting on the coffee table. My cousin Josh Wolkon had developed an innovative restaurant concept that he was calling the Vesta Dipping Grill and was raising seed funding to bring it to life. Having left the northeast to be a ski bum in Colorado, Vesta found it’s home in LODO a then emerging neighborhood in downtown Denver. I was in!

A full-on collaboration with Korn Design ensued and Josh embraced every detail of the process from the interior design of this raw and industrial space to driving the brand’s evolution. Way ahead of his time, Josh had a vision for this industrial space and the opportunity for what Denver was missing on the food scene. Vesta, the goddess of fire and hearth, would be his muse and inspiration for open-fire-grilled fresh meats, fish and veggies skewered and paired with inspired dipping sauces spiced with global influences. Vesta quickly became a beloved and iconic restaurant to the city of Denver and Josh a familiar face and philanthropic leader in the community.

With their 20th Anniversary on the horizon, Josh reached back out to see if we would help them refresh the Vesta brand and secure it for years to come. Vesta has grown up but it has not lost the spot it has earned in the hearts of its loyal guests. With it’s sexy new look and inspiring fresh take on the menu, we celebrate the success and many years of hard work, dedication to community and amazing culinary excellence that Vesta has delivered for 20 years. You can check out the new brand story here and enjoy the scrapbook of photos from 20 years together.

View Project > 

We are excited to share 25 pivotal projects, partnerships and creative moments with you over the next six months. Subscribe to our Newsletter to get monthly updates of our 25 years of projects. Follow us on Instagram to see more behind the scenes at Korn over the last 25 years!

CELEBRATING FIRSTS

BECAUSE SOMEONE HAD TO BE OUR FIRST . . .
You don’t hit 25 years without a lot of firsts: many adventures, new (and now decades-long) relationships, exciting first launches.

We love our work, our team, our clients – and the lasting legacies we’ve created together over the years. From the start, Korn Design has always been about firsts, boldly jumping into new territory and finding the essence of great possibility. What better way to kick off our celebration than to share a few firsts with you . . .

1997-2017 – Our First Restaurant: VESTA, 20 years + counting!
Two decades later and two brand launches in . . . Vesta has won a coveted spot as one of Denver’s most beloved restaurants and a special place in the heart and history of Korn Design. Located in the heart of Denver’s downtown evolution, Vesta continues to shine and reflect Josh’s vision, passion and commitment to leading hospitality and community, making us proud. View Project >

1998 – Our First Independent Hotel: The Charles Hotel
Korn Design owes our first entré into the hospitality industry to Darren Messina, a high-school colleague of Denise, who introduced us to Dick Friedman in 1997. A relationship that now spans over two decades and originated with our work with Dick on behalf of The Charles Hotel. It was here, at The Charles Hotel, that she thinks of as earning her PHD in hospitality and Korn gained a visionary client and true creative partner. View Project >

2007 – Our First James Beard Award: The Corner Office
So then there was Pete. Peter Karpinski joined Sage Hospitality in 2005 to launch the new Sage Restaurant Group (SRG). We instantly hit it off and started creating together. The Corner Office was our first restaurant concept for SRG. With humble honesty, if you would have ever told me that this crazy, sexy, fun restaurant bar concept that we drummed up together would get the notice of the James Beard Foundation I might have giggled. When they announced that we had won for The Corner Office complete shock ensued . . .  I grabbed Javier’s hand and pulled him up on the stage with me to accept our award. Completely unprepared is simply said, “I guess sex sells. Thank you! View Project >

2009 – Rebranding our First Ballet Company: Boston Ballet
With a long love of dance and a huge heart for celebrating the performing arts in Boston we embraced the opportunity to relaunch the Boston Ballet brand in 2009. With Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen injecting the company with new energy, creative freedom and an eye on firmly securing a place on the world’s stage for Boston Ballet, the time was right to set this pivotal work into motion. The rest is history, most importantly we taught Boston and the world to “RETHINK Ballet” and make it more accessible to everyone. View Project >

We are excited to share 25 pivotal projects, partnerships and creative moments with you over the next six months. Subscribe to our Newsletter to get monthly updates of our 25 years of projects. Follow us on Instagram to see more behind the scenes at Korn over the last 25 years!

Discover the power of a brave new brand.