Located in Willimasburg, Brooklyn, the project involved the renovation and conversation of an existing one story garage into a restaurant space. The repurposing of the single story structure required the conversion of use from a manufacturing classification to an eating and drinking establishment. The interior and exterior aesthetic fits in well with the industrial heritage of Williamsburg. The material palette is simple and the execution is contextual. The space is designed to look and feel like the taquerias and food stalls seen in Mexico.

The restaurant is laid out as an open-plan with the kitchen and bar being part of the dining experience. A few low-height partitions define the bathroom and back-of-house spaces without detracting from the overall volume. The roof of the 8’ high spaces provides much needed storage space that can be accessed via custom roll-out ladders. Patrons get a sense of the entire space (100’ deep) as soon as they enter.

Tacombi takes its aesthetic cues from Mexican artisanal craft and construction. Here the selection and installation of materials is less about perfection and more about an assortment of found materials and objects that come together to form an unlikely assemblage. The feel is one of being a familiar setting in which to enjoy a home-cooked meal. Rough tile work is a significant feature, alignments are less important and unfinished tile edges are exposed. Other details include custom metalwork at handrails, doors, hardware, decorative screens and even furniture. Glass block and acrylic sheet play an important role in allowing light while obscuring the details. Building services from mechanical ductwork, plumbing risers to electrical conduits are all exposed, to not only minimize unnecessary concealment but also include the inner workings of the space in the overall experience. Two new skylights bring in much needed natural light into the center of the space.

Brooklyn, NY

Completed 2019

2500 SQ. FT.


MEP: Jack Green & Associates

Michelle Kuo Corp.

Photographer: Photographer Charlie Bennet