By the end of the month, celebrity-favorite Catch plans to reveal its many secrets at Aria. The Asian-infused sushi, seafood, and steak restaurant taking over the former BarMasa and Tetsu space opens on Monday, Oct. 29, with a dramatic makeover created with an estimated construction budget of $6,712,055. Here, Shawn Sullivan, partner and studio leader at Rockwell Group, shares some of the design elements of the restaurant before it opens.
How would you describe the look and design of Catch?
Rockwell Group took the DNA of Catch’s Los Angeles location, an open-air haven, and amplified it for the Vegas setting. The restaurant is a warm, welcoming oasis with an indoor-outdoor Mediterranean feel. Guests are meant to feel as if they are uncovering a hidden landmark. The furniture are fixtures are modern, eclectic, and luxurious, with fun materials such as reclaimed wood and copper accents.
What design elements is the Las Vegas destination borrowing from other locations in New York City and Hollywood?
Catch’s signature element is a really dramatic arrival experience. Off the entry garden, we created a twinkling garden pergola. The use of a statement olive tree in the middle is magnified and dramatized for Las Vegas.
What are some of the design elements unique to Las Vegas?
The entry tunnel that leads to the restaurant is unique to Las Vegas. We brought it up to another level from LA. Custom cast concrete planters with a water feature line the 80-foot-long arched interior pathway with secluded niches featuring Catch’s signature sculpture of a woman wearing an antique scuba mask and other artwork. The tunnel is filled with flowers and foliage and dramatic lighting. Reclaimed red and white oak flooring from abandoned farms and warehouses in the Eastern U.S.
What are some of the unexpected design elements that diners should look for?
When guests arrive in the bar with a 16-foot-tall vaulted ceiling, they can peer through the opening of the back bar with views of the adjacent dining room. We were so excited to create a glowing bar where people have the occasion to see through. The backbar display is made of 10 feet of tiered, glowing liquor bottles that reflect in mirrors and create an optical illusion.
Are there any personal stories behind the design?
Yes, we have a scuba diver statue in the entry tunnel that was inspired by the Catch LA opening, when they had someone dressed in an antique scuba costume to greet guests. We decided to turn it into a permanent sculpture and create the Catch mascot.
What reaction do you expect when guests walk into Catch?
They should feel that they are in a welcoming, warm space with surprises and fun to come.
What design element are you most excited about?
The volume of the bar with the grand ceiling height, liquor riser tower, and trellis along both sides. It’s a surprise and a discovery when the tunnel opens up.
It sounds like the design is modern yet rustic. Is that accurate? Or is there a better way to describe it?
This is accurate. In the main dining room, the solid wood wide-plank hickory floors have a custom hand-applied dark stain. A rustic gray wood trellis hangs over the seating area, creating outdoor ambiance. Custom-dyed Italian leather banquettes have teak wood frames sourced from vintage buildings slated for demolition in Southeast Asia. Walnut plank tabletops feature blackened metal details. In the private dining room, the wainscot is reclaimed redwood from Northern California with a soft white wash finish.
Is the lounge separate? How do guests get to the lounge?
The lounge is separate but guests have access to it through the main dining room. (There’s also a secret VIP access.) It has a bit of a darker, moodier feel, reminiscent of a private library. It features dark walnut wood paneling millwork. A tufted leather bar die creates the soft, luxurious feeling of a private club or speakeasy. A custom 5-foot diameter crystal chandelier creates a sculptural focus in the room. Soft velvet banquettes along the walls create intimate spaces.
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