Urban Wren, Winery + Restaurant

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After completing the adaptive re-use of Markley Station in Greenville, SC, McMillan Pazdan Smith was commissioned for the 5,625 SF interior renovation of Urban Wren, an upscale small plate restaurant, winery, and tasting room. Initially drawn to Markley Station because of the industrial feel, the client wanted to keep that aesthetic throughout the space by incorporating exposed brick and utilizing the existing wood structure.

Originally planned as a one-story restaurant and bar, Urban Wren opted to purchase the upstairs area for use as event space. Our team designed the original layout and was retained to complete design services for the upstairs portion. This additional space allowed the design of a monumental stair to connect both spaces, adding 5,532 SF to the restaurant. Upstairs features a full-service bar and catering kitchen — which is connected to the kitchen below via a dumbwaiter. Working closely with Chef Dale Miller of Master Chef Consulting Group, our team carefully evaluated the kitchen layout to provide both a full kitchen and warming kitchen that supports restaurant space with 100 seats downstairs and 175 seats upstairs.

The client’s desire to remove most of the existing wood columns in order to create an open feel for a large bar posed an interesting challenge for the design team. The solution included designing a new steel structural system that spans the seating area and bar, while supporting the floor above. Keeping with the industrial design of the space, this new system was left exposed. We also collaborated with Urban Wren to contrast the industrial building with finish selections of unique tile, re-claimed wood, and refined steel planks as materials to use for feature walls and the 40-foot bar. A fire-place located in a back corner surrounded by soft seating provides a warm, lounge feel.

With the goal to serve its own branded wine within two years of beginning fermentation, the process is visible in the tasting room to give customers an experience of a truly sophisticated winery. Customers can also purchase bottles of wine to take home after their visit from the many wine displays located throughout the restaurant.

Completed towards the end of 2019, the grand opening was March of 2020.