In the heart of Greensboro, North Carolina, lies a pearl of a hotel known as the O. Henry, and its equally charming restaurant, the Green Valley Grill. Unless you’re a local, you would never guess that this charming and luxuriously accommodating hotel and restaurant is only 16 years old. One would think that both structures have been standing in this location for more than 100 years. But according to CEO Dennis Quaintance, that is not the case.
In 1998 Quaintance was directly involved in the design of Green Valley Grill along with his late colleague, Don Rives. They wanted the restaurant design to echo warmth and welcome. “We wanted to leave the impression that you are not dining
in something new, but rather something ancient,” said Quaintance about the initial design concepts. “There is something, a psychological effect, kind of like going home. It’s a safe space; it’s a comfort place.” They went with brick and copper as their staple materials because they felt that, “brick and copper are things that people have lived next to for quite a while.”
The Design Challenge:
Originally, Quaintance and Rives wanted the hotel to look like it was built in 1870 and the restaurant to feel like a 1920s addition. What many folks don’t know is that both structures were actually constructed in 1998. When this design duo decided on copper, Quaintance contacted his friends at ATI Decorative Laminates, because he was sure if anyone knew laminates and copper, it would be Jim Burgio, ATI’s CEO.
“We went with laminate because it’s so durable. It’s been 16 years since installation and it’s held up great,” said Quaintance. “And I’ll bet you dollars-to-donuts if you came back in 16 years you’ll see these exact same walls. Because materials either wear out or ugly out, and this isn’t going to do either one.”
Both copper and brick have endured for ages, and those materials helped the design team achieve a historic mood. They applied ATI’s C431 Antique Copper Ore in a portion of the restaurant informally referred to as “the Copper Room,” and wrapped their large bar with C462 Antique Fine Hammered Copper. Both materials are from the NuMetal Copper Collection, which gives the space old-world charm with the durability of modern materials.
Originally, the Copper Room’s installation did not have metal joiners, but a couple of years after the restaurant’s opening there were humidity problems with the restaurant’s HVAC system, which made Quaintance and his team slightly alter the design to address the effects of moisture. “We came in and put in these, what we call joint lines. But that was all retrofit, we didn’t have to change anything to do it,” said Quaintance. Because of the copper laminate’s durability, they had the same laminates that wrap the bar (C462 Antique Fine Hammered Copper) installed throughout the restaurant’s large kitchen area.
Antique Fine Hammered Copper C462
Antique Copper Ore C431
Don Rives & Dennis Quaintance
NuMetal, Wall Panels