Last updated on July 4th, 2024 at 06:53 am

Bellevue is well-known for being the center of technology and retail of the Eastside. The city has a vibrant economy as seen through over 150,000 jobs, high-rise buildings in downtown, and top-ranking schools. The city is named after the French term belle vue — meaning “beautiful view” — which is what visitors will witness in Bellevue. 

Bellevue is home to four major shopping centers, including Bellevue Square, Factoria Mall, Crossroads Mall, and Overlake Shopping District. Within these shopping malls are countless retail stores and restaurants. For a unique customer experience, companies need the best restaurant architects in Bellevue to distinguish them from the other restaurants in the city. This list includes architectural firms with numerous years of experience, impressive backgrounds, awards, and publications.

JPC Architects

909 112th Ave. NE Suite #206, Bellevue, WA 98004

Established in 1986, JPC Architects has become one of the biggest architecture and corporate interior firms in the Pacific Northwest. The firm’s principal, Ann Derr, graduated from Texas A&M University with a major in environmental design and architecture. She received her master’s degree from The University of Texas at Austin. Along with Derr are other principals: Amy Nichols, Char Patterson, and Mark Peterson. 

JPC Architects is a recipient of the 2019 Word Interiors News Awards. It has been featured in publications like Seattle Magazine, Puget Sound Business Journal, and Bellevue Reporter. 

One of its known projects is Scotty Brown’s, a social hub located in the Elements Buildings in downtown Bellevue. It is the ideal location for a quick lunch or happy hour. JDC Architects provided architectural services for the design of the kitchen and patio — incorporating a fire pit and shady umbrellas.

Weinstein AU Architects + Urban Designers

2200 Western Ave. Suite #301, Seattle, WA 98121

A mid-size firm, Weinstein AU Architects + Urban Designers offers full-service architecture and urban designing. The firm was founded in 1977 and has since built a portfolio of projects that surely stand the test of time in terms of build and design. One of the firm’s principals is Ed Weinstein who joined the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in 1993. Weinstein was given the AIA Seattle Medal of Honor, the highest recognition for lifetime achievement in architecture in the region. He received his bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Washington. Weinstein finished his master’s degree in urban design at Harvard University.

The firm was given the Citation Award from the 2020 AIA Northwest & Pacific Region Awards. In the same year, Weinstein AU was awarded the 2020 AIA Seattle Honor Awards for Washington Architecture. It also received mention in ArchDaily, Faith & Form Magazine, and Seattle Times Pacific Northwest Magazine. 

Piston & Ring Building is a notable project by Weinstein AU where the firm conducted a renovation of the 14,000-square-foot commercial space. The project was completed in 2007 and was previously an “auto-row” service building. The building was renovated into a mixed-use development for restaurants, offices, and retail stores. The renovated space successfully blends the old and the new characteristics of the building. It can be seen specifically on the board-formed concrete walls and industrial roof trusses.

FREIHEIT Architecture

777 108th Ave. NE Suite #1650, Bellevue, WA 98004

With 36 years of experience, FREIHEIT Architecture has established its name in the industry by creating commercial spaces that improve surrounding communities. The firm President, Dustin Thorlakson, graduated from the University of Southern California with a bachelor’s degree in Architecture. Thorlakson is Autodesk certified and a member of the National Association of Office and Industrial Properties (NAIOP) – Seattle Chapter. 

FREIHEIT Architecture is a recipient of numerous awards, including the 2019 Hospitality & Entertainment Development of the Year and the 2017 Architectural Precast Concrete Award for Excellence. The firm was also mentioned in Puget Sound Business Journal and Architect Magazine for its impressive project portfolio.

One of their projects is 13 Coins, a 24/7 restaurant located in Pioneer Square. The restaurant was originally situated on Boren Avenue for over 50 years before it was redeveloped in its new location. The firm successfully preserved its old-school sparkle through high-backed booths, captain’s chairs, and an open kitchen.

Jackson | Main Architecture

311 1st Ave. S. Seattle, WA 98104

Despite only starting in 2015, Jackson | Main Architecture (JMA) has helped people live and work better by focusing on its clients’ missions and objectives. One of the firm’s principals is Timothy Black, AIA, NCARB, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional  (LEED AP), and Evidence-Based Design Accreditation and Certification (EDAC). Black graduated with bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Before becoming part of JMA, he worked for well-known architectural firms. 

JMA has previously received awards from known institutions for its impressive projects. In 2017, it was given the Grand Award for Construction Excellence by the AGC Build Awards. The firm was also included in the Puget Sound Business Journal in 2017 and 2018. 

JMA constructed two locations for Bakery Nouveau, with one in Seattle and the other in Burien. The firm did impressive work on the new bakery facade and complete interior to fully show the bakery’s old-fashioned charm and highlight their quality products.

The Driftmier Architects

7983 Leary Way NE Redmond, WA 98052

Since 1980, The Driftmier Architects has accomplished a wide variety of projects for corporations, public institutions, and private clients. The mid-sized firm, based in Redmond, offers full architectural services to the Washington area. The principal architect, Lee Driftmier is a graduate of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Yale University. Along with him as principal is Rick Driftmier, AIA, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in environmental design and business administration from the University of Washington. He was previously an Executive Board Member at the Redmon Chamber of Commerce. 

The Driftmier Architects is accredited by the AIA, American Public Works Association (APWA), and the International Code Council (ICC).  

The impressive portfolio of The Driftmier Architects has led them to be featured in publications such as the Daily Journal of Commerce in 2014, 2016, and 2020. Community Bankers of Washington also mentioned them in 2016 and 2017. 

One of their known projects is the Del Taco franchise in Puyallup. The firm worked with a Southwestern prototype and adapted the design for an appealing and functional space. The 2,260-square-foot restaurant features a full commercial kitchen, an indoor and outdoor seating area, and a drive-through.

Chesmore | Buck Architecture

27 100th Ave. NE Suite #100, Bellevue, WA 98004

Chesmore | Buck Architecture was established in 1993 by Rick Chesmore. Now, the Bellevue-based design studio provides architectural services for residential and commercial projects. Chesmore graduated with a degree in Architecture from the University of Idaho. He marked his way up from an intern, then junior associate in several architectural firms before finally opening his own firm with Dave Buck, 29 years ago. 

Due to the firm’s years of experience, it has been featured in Sunset Magazine, Seattle Homes and Lifestyles, Gray Magazine, and LUXE Magazine

A notable project by Chesmore | Buck Architecture is the Milagro Restaurant, located along Lake Street in Kirkland. The 6,000-square-foot restaurant has a dining area that can accommodate 225 customers and an outdoor patio for 110. The restaurant offers authentic Mexican cuisine and the dining experience is elevated by the interior of the location. It includes 3 unique fireplaces, walnut-colored slabs as countertops, blackened steel panels, and the exposed steel building structure.


  • Alex Mericle

    Alex Mericle is the Chief Editor at General Contractors Magazine with five years of experience in the construction space. Alex has always had a strong interest in residential and commercial construction and architecture, and he has built up technical experience with building permit data, subcontractor operations, and materials procurement over the years. On top of his experience at General Contractors Magazine, he has prior experience at BuildZoom. His analytical skillset, honed through a degree in Business Analytics from Creighton University and from his work experience, allows him to transform complex construction data into actionable insights and useful, captivating content. Expertise: Residential and Commercial Construction, Building Permit Data, Home Design and Build, Architecture, Subcontractor Operations, Material Procurement Key Highlights: Over 5 years of experience writing and editing in the construction space, Chief Editor at General Contractors Magazine, Previous experience at BuildZoom Education: Creighton University, Degree in Business Analytics