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Reclaim to Shame


SD restaurants are eyeing your vintage Lincoln Logs

Dear restaurant designers,
Please stop reclaiming wood. I realize that’s similar to saying, “Please stop recycling. And if you happen upon an endangered species, kindly dispose of it.” Reclaimed wood is gorgeous, eco-friendly, sturdy. But SD is starting to look like a community of Amish barn-raisers  discovered stimulants. I blame Cucina Urbana. When Tracy Borkum stripped the ultra-white Laurel to reveal a hip timber box, she nailed the zeitgeist of 2009: Tuxes out, overalls in! Then came Prepkitchen, Bankers Hill, BO-beau, Craft & Commerce, your condo. Yes, wood is an essential building material (my next column: “No more restaurants with doors!”). But paint it. Cover it in repossessed otter pelt. Give rehydrated adobe a chance. If you simply can’t resist, don’t import barn wood from Montana—the design equivalent of a Greenpeace sticker on a Hummer. Enlist all-local salvagers like San Diego Urban Timber. For OB’s new Raglan Public, they used planks from the Santee Drive-In! Now, off to belittle some hospice workers.

Thank you,                                   
       Troy Johnson                                   

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