Breweries haven’t always been associated with fine dining or high design, but we’ve seen that change rapidly*. Case in point? Sartre, located on the first level of the Rhinegiest Brewery in Cincinnati. Designer Lauren Geremia of Geremia Design was hired to create “an open space that felt approachable, unique, and fun” in what was originally the former bottling room of the old Moerlein bottling plant, circa 1895. Beyond that, the owners put their faith in Lauren’s impressive track record and gave her space to bring her vision to life. She shares more below and in the slideshow.

What was the space like when you started the project?
The space was essentially one large unfinished room. The owners are serious entrepreneurs and wanted to add a restaurant to complement their popular tasting room. Originally a bottling plant at the end of the 19th century, the walls of the space still had remnants of the plaster and the vaulted ceiling was still intact. We were thrilled to be able to utilize these elements and pay homage to the provenance of the building.

With just a large open space, how did you begin?
The architecture and essence of the building served as the narrative for the design. Our read on the space was louche and lovely. The color palette was taken from old photos and many of the design elements were sourced from local flea markets.

We wanted the restaurant to feel at once classic and timeless. Finishes such as wood wainscot, a rubbed-brass back bar, deep olive green leather banquettes, and textural plaster walls explore the contrast between old and new, raw and finished, imbuing an old building with new life. Similarly, the menu features of-the-moment dishes like turmeric-cured Hamachi and classics like crispy quail and wine-braised short rib, along with an impressive bar program.

*Looking for more proof your next design inspiration may come while enjoying a frosty one right where it was made? Check out our tour of Grimm Taproom in Brooklyn.