Maya Restaurant   |  Charlottesville, Virginia  |  Renovation


Maya’s menu is an eclectic blend of southern comfort food with a modern twist. Its owners were looking for an creative architectural solution that would transform the interior of a formerly well-known local eatery serving old-style southern ‘eats’ in a similar fashion to their approach to food - with a twist without losing sight of the building’s historic character and warmth. We stripped away layers of interior finishes from the past to return to the core of the building’s structure, a sturdy brick wall, and intervened with a new modern bar, a reworked stair and front-and-center kitchen with a prominent plating window to display the food. The bar and its backdrop, a monolithic plaster wall which displays back lit bottled spirits and doubles as chalkboard menu serves to separate the new stairs from the bar’s dining area. A small peek-through window reveals patrons passing on the steps behind as they ascend and descend from the formal dining room upstairs. These 3 elements are interrelated and serve to create a playful tension between the new and old with the juxtaposition of forms. Raw steel plate marks a durable edge along the bar’s front while the custom cherry countertop provides a serving surface that is warm and inviting. A lowered soffit floats above the bar to create an intimate atmosphere in contrast to the open wood beamed ceiling throughout the restaurant.

Photography by Scott Smith Photography