Seasons Of Love


Twelvemonth—a new restaurant, lounge and bakehouse in Burlingame, CA—satisfies mind, body and soul 

Photo here and throughout by Paul Dyer

Though extreme temperature swings and wild weather events are a constant reminder of the very large footprint we have left on the planet, veganism and sustainability are still seen as incongruous with our desire for sensuous, hedonistic experiences. Bob Trahan, the owner and chef of Twelvemonth—a restaurant, lounge and bakehouse which recently opened its doors in Burlingame, California—just south of San Francisco, is determined to change that perception. From its delicious plant-based, locally-sourced, seasonal menu, to the building’s stunning, sustainable transformation, the experience of a meal here underlines the beauty of living thoughtfully. 

“Bob approached me in 2020,” says Lara Dutto of Laraarchitecture, who shouldered the responsibility of turning the Steelhead Brewery into a Platinum LEED restaurant. “He explained his position as an environmental vegan and his hopes to educate folks about his passion for a plant-based diet, at a fun hot spot.” 

“He’d never heard about LEED,” Dutto shares. “I suggested that it was an opportunity to further his mission with regards to addressing climate change. I think it speaks to the restaurant’s mission to ensure nothing goes to waste that he encouraged him to make the investment while also cherishing and preserving the beauty of the past. Designing a space that reflected this overarching theme was refreshing. We were able to achieve LEED Platinum status, a rare accomplishment for a historic adaptive reuse project.”

One of the most dramatic transformations is the overhaul of the onsite parking lot and dumpster storage into a lush, shaded courtyard for outdoor dining and socializing. Two 1,800-gallon storage tanks lie beneath the stone patio to create an innovative rain catchment system. A custom chef’s greenhouse is the meeting place for LEED walking tours and composting demonstrations.

Natural elements and a preponderance of restored industrial steel skylights brighten up the formerly dark and foreboding brewery. Oversized windows and doors open the building to the exterior where colorful overhangs, built-in planters and new street trees beckon patrons inside. 

125 solar panels on the roof help funnel power into the majestic space who elegance is underscored by the restoration of building’s original bow truss ceilings. Warm wood paneling was layered under a new roof, robust insulation, and a sound absorbing scrim that makes intimate conversations possible. The open cooking space treats diners to the theatre of food preparation. 

Details, from hand painted tiles to locally made lighting and plumbing fixtures, add to the sustainable quality inherent in the space. “It was a journey of patience and robust collaboration,” says Dutto. Consider it a motto for the future.

Twelvemonth Restaurant, Lounge and BakeHouse is located at 330 Lorton Ave, Burlingame, CA, 90410, and open Tuesdays through Saturdays, from 5 pm.