Warm and glamorous interiors on the Gulf of Mexico
The new Ocean Prime restaurant opened in 2016 in Naples, a town with just over 20,000 inhabitants on Florida’s east coast, has further expanded the range of culinary offerings available in this popular tourist resort overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Awarded to Mark Knauer’s practice Knauer Incorporated, the project involved refurbishing the spaces and interior design of the previous Avenue 5 restaurant while maintaining its function and position adjacent to the luxury hotel Inn on 5th.
Naples Ocean Prime is the fourteenth location opened in the United States by the eponymous chain started up by restaurateur and entrepreneur Cameron Mitchell in Columbus, Ohio (including three in Florida: Naples, Tampa and Orlando). These fourteen Ocean Prime restaurants and lounge bars, each opened in a different American city, take a shared approach to design and marketing and stand out for a choice of revisited national and international cuisine, a wine list honoured by Wine Spectator — the most authoritative US magazine in the sector — and contemporary interiors in prestigious urban settings.
The location chosen for the Naples Ocean Prime is 5th Avenue South in the town’s Old District, the historic business and commercial neighbourhood founded in the 1920s and extensively rebuilt following the devastation caused by Hurricane Donna in 1960. The city’s growth was accompanied by real estate development in the second half of the 1960s and 1970s as well as a process of urban renewal that culminated in the late 1990s with the reopening of the Sugden Community Theatre.
The project was awarded to Knauer Incorporated, the firm specialising in hospitality sector interior design projects which had already worked on three other Ocean Prime restaurants in Tampa, Boston and Philadelphia. Given that the location already boasted contemporary colours and layout, the practice decided to maintain a number of existing elements such as the striking translucent walls made up of rows of wine bottles enclosed in glass panels, while at the same time altering the finishes and colours, introducing new furnishings and installing a new entrance and a new outdoor area.
The interior, which extends over a floor space of 750 square metres, occupies part of the large ground floor of Inn on 5th, to which the restaurant offers part of its services. The restaurant has four rooms seating more than 200 people as well as a bar with large windows looking out onto the exterior. The clear lines and meticulously designed details create a warm, glamorous atmosphere. The distinctive combination of neutral and warm colours is reprised in the flooring, which consists of 420 square metres of porcelain floor tiles supplied by Ceramiche Piemme in a wenge finish and tobacco and leather tones.