modern agrarian dining with a nod to history
In late 2012, we were hired by prolific Sacramento restauranteurs to reimagine a once popular, but rapidly waning, restaurant into something more hip, meaningful and relevant. With the 'farm-to-fork' movement being our primary guide, and with a keen interest in imparting a fresh perspective into the local restaurant scene, we took our research to the archives of local historical libraries for direction. Early discoveries inspired us to pitch the name 'Hock Farm' after learning the story behind John Sutter's retreat, also the first large-scale agricultural settlement in Northern California. Of greater interest was creating a design that could facilitate dialog surrounding lesser known details of the region's history. By incorporating elements informed by the Nisenan Native American people, who inhabited a nearby village the farm was named for, the design simultaneously celebrates and brings to light our varied past while prompting deeper inquiry and discussion.
Interpretive design elements in the restaurant and adjoining bar include steel partitions inspired by basket weaving, an enlarged historical drawing of Hock Farm, and a bold yet ambiguous neon sign over the open kitchen pulled from a John Sutter quote. These engaging features are balanced over more refined and current pieces like white subway tile, birch plywood banquette seating and luminous porcelain pendants. Custom and locally-sourced furniture and fabricators were carefully selected to assure conceptual congruence and encompass an 8' community table in the shape of California and an oversized linear blade sign made from reclaimed doug fir. No detail was overlooked in our comprehensive approach to designing Hock Farm.