History Meets Pop Culture in CuldeSac’s “Social Foodie Club” Design
Modern eateries often concentrate on creating a scene. They want to take you back in time, propel you into the future, or even dress up the present. When CuldeSac created the design for Partiggiano in the quaint town of Paterna in Valencia, they shunned those options and came up with something unique: a gathering place with great cuisine that would stand out among the high-end restaurants and street food options.
The goal was to incorporate the rich Mediterranean history and architecture of the town, the iconic warmth, spirit, and quality of Italian family meals, and an aura of artistic expression tempered with a healthy dose of fun. Before it was finished, Partiggiano had been dubbed a “social foodie club.”
Lucía del Portillo, creative director at CuldeSac Custom and Partner of CuldeSac, oversaw the design of Partiggiano. He explains that his team “wanted to revive the Mediterranean tradition of the Italian town squares, of mamma welcoming everyone to eat at a large table. From this concept came the design of a grandstand and arches. A simple atmosphere with arcades.”
Lucky for them, there was ample space to integrate it all. The main restaurant interior is 2,100 square feet, the covered terrace another 730, and the kitchen (where the real magic happens) another 1,300 still.
The Aesthetic Visualization
Melding simple, traditional, and progressive themes started with the architecture. The basic structure is simple, like an ancient village mansion that’s grand without being garish, elegant but not pretentious. And much like Italian family culture, the central grandstand of Partiggiano promotes interaction and camaraderie. The kitchen and dining room reflect Italian design traditions with covered passages, massive whitewashed walls, wrought-iron trims, rich walnut accents, pedestals, platforms, and broad partitions.
To offset the conventional influences, the back of Partiggiano is home to several universally recognized arcade games from the 1980s. But the restaurant’s pièce de résistance is the graffiti-covered walls, all of which were merrily decorated by local street artists hired to christen the oversized white spaces with their unique drawings and images.
Partiggiano is the most unique location in Paterna’s new Heron City shopping center. Aside from its distinctive mix of architecture, art, and influences across centuries — not to mention a menu that boasts Italy’s most delectable cuisine passed down through generations — it’s a place where people of all ages can meet and actually connect.
Watching the guests at the restaurant intermingle conjures up remembrances of old stories and paintings that depicted passionate people exchanging ideas, freely expressing opinions and thoughts, and laughing with abandon at life and its many challenges. When the natural light falls on the faces of young and old so comfortably enjoying each other, the scene seems to glow like a canvas. For a brief moment, it seems like all is right with the world, and that transparency and sincerity have been reborn.