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Products in Play: Latin Café 2000, Miami

Opened in downtown Miami’s Brickell neighborhood, the restaurant is the third for the

casual-dining concept. Pedro Ramos, president of TAG, helped develop Latin Cafe 2000's initial prototype and was tapped to design the Brickell unit as well. Stripping the walls bare at the outset, his goal was to provide brand consistency and authenticity while taking advantage of the location's indoor--0utdoor character. To those ends, the design features plenty of greenery, wood, handcrafted materials, and vibrant colors and patterns. The mix

includes several wall covering products and styles that support the narrative.

Ramos explains:

Geometric Tile Pattern

We wanted something geometrically simple that wouldn't take away from the back bar or compete with the mosaic tile wall. It has a 3-D cube image that you can also see some of in the big mosaic wall.

Bahama Shutters

It's framed in traditional Bahama shutters, like those you'd see on tropical island homes. They fit the concept, but they're also functional because there's storage behind them. Lining the back bar itself is thin porcelain tile that looks like marble and is lit to show off the bottles.

Mosaic the Wall

For the long dining room feature wall, we created a mosaic of cement tiles that are handmade in a small town nearby. We selected several styles, put them all on the floor, and played with them to create an interesting mix of colors and patterns for the wall. It’s finished with a border of sol id gray tiles. All tiles are 8 by 8 inches, but some are combined to create bigger patterns and appear to be larger or L-shaped. We went with cement tiles because they're handcrafted and authentic, which fits with the brand. And because they were going on a wall, we weren't as concerned about the maintenance that would be required had they gone on the floor.

Tropical Wallpaper

On one smaller dining room wall, the client requested a bold, tropical wallpaper be used. It’s laminated for extra protection and adds great dimension to a wall that otherwise might have been just painted. It also helps to connect the landscaping outdoors with the indoor space.

Neutral Wall Coverings

In other accent areas, and to create a zone around a takeout window, we selected neutral, muted wall coverings that provide visual balance - wood paneling and the same concrete look porcelain tile that's used on the floor.

Faux Foliage

The outdoor seating space is narrow and long between two tall buildings, so we tried to create an oasis in this busy urban area. Green was very important inside and out.

Rather than just a solid tone, the landscape architect included different colors of faux

greenery on a long wall enclosing the patio and lighting that highlights it.

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