Step Inside This Warm and Welcoming Urban Bistro

Architect Alan Metcalfe re-invented a familiar neighborhood gathering place from old and bleak to urban and chic.

Designing for one client can be a challenge, but designing for multiple clients is a whole different ball game, and architect Alan Metcalfe knocked it out of the park. 

After all, designing public spaces isn't solely about making a space aesthetically pleasing, but designing with people in mind, our human nature and how we interact with others. While Alan has a vast resume, he is especially proficient in the public spaces arena, as can be seen in his recent remodel of Goat Hollow restaurant.

Drum Pendants Add Contemporary Flair to Urban Bar

Drum Pendants Add Contemporary Flair to Urban Bar

Photo by: Halkin | Mason Photography

Halkin | Mason Photography

"We are focused on making spaces that encourage people to interact and enjoy being the human animals we are," says Alan.

It's this ideology and a good eye for design that inspired Alan's remodel of the historic Goat Hollow restaurant, a cultural landmark in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia. This close attention to purpose and a new urban bistro design scheme has earned Alan praise from Philadelphians as well as HGTV fans, who selected his space the winner of the HGTV Fresh Faces of Design Posh Public Spaces category

Alan holds a firm belief that every project has a story to tell, and just like an old Cheers episode, Goat Hollows is the place 'where everybody knows your name.'

To reflect this idea, Alan left as much of the beloved cultural landmark as possible while also making some noticeable improvements.

Urban Bistro Boasts 1920s Charm

Urban Bistro Boasts 1920s Charm

Photo by: Halkin | Mason Photography

Halkin | Mason Photography

The original stone exterior was restored, but to make the restaurant more prominent, Alan added a large illuminated sign to the building face and knocked down an existing fence to reveal an outdoor dining area.

"We wanted diners to say 'hey, outdoor dining...I want to be there!'" says Alan.

Inside the restaurant, walls of recycled red cedar add authenticity, warmth and rustic charm. Alan also collaborated with photographer Julia Blaukopf to create wallpaper made of local photos that blend the restaurant with the local scene.

Restaurant Entry With Rustic, Nature-Inspired Feel

Restaurant Entry With Rustic, Nature-Inspired Feel

Photo by: Halkin | Mason Photography

Halkin | Mason Photography

To reflect the recylcing ethos of the Mt. Airy community, Alan mixed in upcycled materials with new materials wherever possible. Cider jugs were recycled into a chic and modern chandelier, a definite focal point in the upstairs dining area. Vintage seating, exposed ductwork and wallpaper murals all contribute to the fusion of rustic and industrial design.

Second-Story Dining Room Features Upcycled Chandelier

Second-Story Dining Room Features Upcycled Chandelier

Photo by: Halkin | Mason Photography

Halkin | Mason Photography

Along with the use of recycled materials, Alan rounded out his well-conceieved design scheme with attention to detail. Floors are covered in wood-simulating vinyl to reduce noise on the dining floor and create a more pleasant dining experience. Lighting highlights the walls, rather than the heads of the diners, and a vintage-style fireplace at the entry sends a message of warmth and conviviality while seperating the main dining area from the bar.

Urban-Style Restaurant Is Warm, Welcoming

Urban-Style Restaurant Is Warm, Welcoming

Photo by: Halkin | Mason Photography

Halkin | Mason Photography

"Spaces where food is being served are special," says Alan. "They are places where people let down their defenses and speak as equals."

An inviting exterior paired with warm and welcoming design within make Goat Hollow particularly special, returning the old familiar gathering place to the community once again.

See More of This Urban Bistro With Vintage Charm

See All Photos

Urban Bistro Boasts 1920s Charm

Restaurant Entry With Rustic, Nature-Inspired Feel

Second-Story Dining Room Features Upcycled Chandelier

Urban-Style Restaurant Is Warm, Welcoming

Drum Pendants Add Contemporary Flair to Urban Bar

Vintage Fireplace Centers Urban Chic Restaurant

Urban-Style Bar With Vintage Fireplace & Warm Wood Floors

Vintage Fireplace Features Recycled Brick Surround

Next Up

Turn a Side Table Into a Faux Bar Cart

Transform a side table into an easy-to-create, affordable bar cart stocked with repurposed items.

3 Easy Steps to Give New Life to an Old Wood Bowl

You don't have to be a world-class chef to appreciate the beauty and usefulness of an antique or vintage dough bowl but years of constant use can really take a toll on the wood, leaving it dried-out, scratched and stained. In just 3 steps, you can reverse decades of use and give new life to an old wood bowl.

6 Design Tips to Steal From John Colaneri and Anthony Carrino's Home Kitchens

HGTV's Cousins share their tips for everyone's favorite room.

40+ Ways to Turn Any Space Into a Dream Craft Room

Learn how to turn any room into an inspirational crafting studio.

Nooks and Niches: Here's How to Optimize Those Quirky Spaces

Make T. Swift proud and embrace that blank space. 

Death to Mason Jars! Lili and Meg Call It Quits on This Long-Lasting Trend

In the latest episode of your favorite new web series, Design Goals, Meg and Lili stir up a little controversy and share a DIY fail.

Design Goals: Meet the Hilarious Design Talk Show You Didn't Know You Needed

Our new web series is perfect for the design-obsessed HGTV fan who doesn't mind getting a little irreverent. Read: All of you!

Unreal 24-Hour Kitchen Transformation

Leave it to HGTV's Kitchen Cousins to do a complete kitchen remodel in one 24-hour period. You have to see it to believe it!

10 Quick Tips for a Picture-Perfect Pantry

Who said organizing had to be ugly?

7 Trendy Headboards That Will Have You Dreamin’

Make one, buy one, or get inspired by these noteworthy headboards. 

Meet the Team

Get to know the talented writers and editors of HGTV's show and design blog. 

Go Behind the Blog

From the Archives

Take a look back at our past posts, from entertaining and design trends to up-and-coming HGTV shows.  

Read All Our Past Posts