When a 5,030 sf Sizzler restaurant located on the University of Southern California (USC) property closed, USC saw an opportunity to develop an upscale café to service not only the student body and faculty, but the entire community. The Lab Gastropub is located within the City of Los Angles Restaurant Incentive Program area, immediately adjacent to the USC Galen Center, which was developed to discourage fast food restaurants in favor of sit-down restaurants offering a variety of healthier foods. The Lab was designed to be an indoor/outdoor dining experience with a storefront that features a wall of custom glass and wood accordion doors, opening the dining room to the adjacent patio/lounge area and taking advantage of the temperate Los Angels weather.
The design enlists memories of classic chemistry labs, from slate tables and wood floors to lab-style Pyrex beakers and glasses. There are three distinct interior dining zones: a more intimate area with plush banquettes and small café tables; a linear grouping of tables with stools and benches for larger parties or communal; and a private room with its own separate outdoor patio for those who wish to be discrete.