Yes, Definitely: Gracias Madre in Newport Beach


Wendy Haworth‘s design for the Newport Beach branch of Gracias Madre is picture perfect.

Vegan restaurant Gracias Madre in West Hollywood, designed by Wendy Haworth, is as renowned for its beautiful bar as it is for its killer margaritas and piquant food. So when the owners decided to open a branch in Newport Beach, they asked Haworth to work her magic once again.

“We have a great time working together and have developed a real design rapport over the years,” says Haworth who’s also worked with them on most of their Cafe Gratitude/Gratitude spaces. Haworth describes their vision for this new location in one word: “Sexican,” she laughs. “The owners wanted a fun, lively space that would be the perfect background to plant-based Mexican food and delicious agave-based cocktails.

With five months to complete the renovation, Haworth set to work. The plan was to continue the palette of the West Hollywood restaurant — which mixes black and white with bright jewel tone colors — while also creating something new, a tricky balancing act. Haworth looked to Mexican design and craft for inspiration.

“We covered the ceiling in matting woven from palm and retiled the bar face with colorful terracotta zellige tiles in a vibrant pattern,” she shares. The custom iron pendants that dangle over the bar mimic the ones found in West Hollywood.  “We added booths in the middle of the space with embroidered textiles by Kettlewell Collection,” she says, “The banquettes around the perimeter of the room are in Zak+Fox’s Mazan fabric.”

Scott Shrader oversaw the design of the patio and monitored the plantings. Flamed basalt was laid in a herringbone pattern while a bamboo canopy was installed overhead to shade patrons from the sun. Rattan pendants from Inner Gardens, striped banquette cushions from Holly Hunt and lush plantings complete an inviting space.