An Artisan Wood Fired Pizza Restaurant


The Bantam Restaurant demonstrates what can be achieved on a minimal budget with good communication and cooperation between the owner and contractor. A tenant improvement project, we converted a personal fitness studio into a boutique wood fired pizza restaurant in just four short months. Working closely with the owner made for an easy decision process that gave them a lot of ‘bang for the buck’.

In order to achieve the edgy, urban chic look that the owner had in mind, we used reclaimed wood for walls, counter and the bar. We salvaged the original floor, keeping its industrial look and sealing it with hospital-grade epoxy. The audio system is a mix of classic and modern components. To efficiently utilize space, we installed the custom walk-in freezer under the stairs.

The custom wood oven was made in Italy by Valoriani and installed by Mugnaini out of Watsonville. With the kitchen open to the restaurant, commercial grade hoods and a whisper quite HVAC system sit over the stove to keep everyone cool. For additional safety, a commercial-kitchen grade foam fire suppression system was installed. Within the brief project window, we worked closely with the city and county to meet ADA and environmental health codes.

We can’t be more pleased with the results. The finished restaurant, at 1010 Fair Ave, on the Santa Cruz west side, has a warm, friendly charm. To top it off, the food is as good as the ambiance.

Project Details

  • Square Footage: 2500
  • Bathrooms: 2
  • Architect: John McKelvey
  • Designers: Owners
  • Project Duration: 4 Months