Last updated on July 4th, 2024 at 06:47 am

A restaurant design can relax, excite, or even entertain its patrons. Many nuances within the restaurant design impact whether a meal is to be celebrated, appreciated and enjoyed. Failing to thoughtfully design a good restaurant can have a detrimental impact on the way a meal is perceived, which can be avoided with the help of an experienced architect.

To help you choose the right designer equipped to handle any building deliverables you might require, our team has curated a list of the best restaurant architects in Cupertino, California. These firms were selected for their accreditations, certifications, and professional affiliations. We also considered the recognition each firm has received in the form of industry awards, client reviews, and press features. We have laid out the range of services each firm offers, their specializations, and the length of time they have been in the industry.

Robinson Hill Architecture

3195 B Airport Loop Dr., Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Robinson Hill Architecture, Inc. (RHA) caters to commercial clients with accreditation from the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), the Commercial Real Estate Development Association (NAIOP), and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Its core competencies lie in design, engineering, planning, graphics, branding, and construction administration. RHA is capable of handling entitlements and permit processing and can conduct consultations and analysis studies. Rooted in collaboration, the RHA team works with the clients’ ideas and takes inspiration from each project’s programmatic requirements, site characteristics, and context. 

Founder and Design Principal Michael David Robinson holds membership with the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Urban Land Institute (ULI). The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Accredited Professional draws on 36 years of experience in steering the firm towards the successful completion of its local, regional, and international projects. 

RHA was responsible for the design of Water Grill in Costa Mesa. The concept is inspired by seaside waterfronts and shipyards where wood, steel and concrete create enticing environments. It’s infused with architectural elements such as deep, horizontal roof lines, large piers, bow trusses, and concrete walls that evoke walking along a bustling wharf. A massive rusted steel structure echoing a moored ship is utilized to anchor the architecture and further enhance the waterfront experience along the restaurant entryway.

Tanaka + Riley Architects

22855 Savi Ranch Parkway Suite E, Yorba Linda, CA 92887

Tanaka + Riley Architects specializes in architecture, interior design, and planning that adhere to the standards of the American Society of Interior Designers and the AIA. The firm has particular strengths in concept development, prototype design, and construction and design manual creation as well. Tanaka + Riley implements a team system in which all members of the firm work together to accomplish project objectives.

After spending over a decade leading Scheer Tanaka Dennehy Riley Architects, Rick Tanaka and Mike Riley joined forces to form Tanaka + Riley Architects. Rick is a National Council Interior Design Qualification certificate holder with 35 years of experience in hotel, office, retail, health club, and restaurant design. He is an AIA member and NCARB-certified, similar to Mike who contributes his technical expertise as a Certified Construction Specifier and Contract Administrator. The two principals have nurtured their firm’s prowess in designing restaurants, health clubs, hotels, custom residential, as well as commercial and industrial developments.

A shining example is the Ten Restaurant and Nightclub in Newport Beach. This Asian fusion restaurant presents a sophisticated dining experience rich with color and mood lighting that enlightens the senses. Eight flat screen televisions surround the open concept layout of the tables, with seating available indoors and outdoors. Ten is the perfect place for a romantic date, business lunch meeting, or simply to celebrate life with friends and family.

Bickel Group Architecture

3600 Birch Street Suite 120, Newport Beach, CA 92660

Bickel Group Architecture undertakes the office, automotive, restaurant, retail, and institutional design that raises the value of every project. With LEED Accredited Professionals (LEED AP) on-staff, the firm is able to offer quality adaptive reuse services as part of its sustainability practice. Bickel Group’s design approach begins by understanding the needs and goals of the client and culminates in a property with value greater than the capital invested.

Jim Bickel brings over 28 years of experience in site design, building conceptualization, project management, code analysis, and construction. He carries in-depth knowledge in the management and preparation of construction drawings and specifications, and construction administration as well. On top of this, the AIA member and NCARB-certified architect is adept in client interaction, government processing, and engineering coordination for Type I high-rise to Type V buildings. Within the community, he serves on the Granville Design Review committee in Newport Beach and the Marbella Design Review Committee in San Juan Capistrano. Jim supervises his team in achieving clients’ strategic objectives and a product of their integrity and teamwork is Rock & Brews Buena Park.

Guests and passersby are greeted with a massive model of a guitar’s neck and headstock that distinguishes the structure. The restaurant and bar hosts charming, brick-clad indoor and alfresco dining areas featuring picnic and striking fire-feature tables, an expansive rock-inspired art collection, and flat screens showcasing some of the greatest moments in rock history.

Ralph Gentile Architects

665 Lillian Way, Los Angeles, CA 90004

With expertise in architecture and interior design, Ralph Gentile Architects has completed acclaimed restaurants, hotels/casinos, spas, nightclubs, and retail stores. Its participatory approach champions flexibility to clients and responsiveness to project timelines and budgets. This methodology spawned from Ralph Gentile’s creative perspective which takes the owner’s goals and guests’ experience into account in creating commercial spaces. Ralph has achieved mastery over hospitality design, restaurant leasing, branding, operations, and management after more than 25 years in the industry. His projects can be found across Los Angeles, Tampa, San Francisco, San Diego, and New York and have been published in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and Hospitality Design Magazine. He has also appeared on a segment of The Today Show to address solutions for restaurant acoustics.

Ralph’s thoughtful design technique can be seen in much of Ralph Gentile Architects’s highly varied portfolio including Sushi Roku in Fashion Island. The French-inspired modern dining space accommodates an outdoor patio, bar, and dining hall insulated with noise-reduction technology. With a nod to nature, an eight-foot bamboo forest-inspired wall, a warm walnut counter at the sushi bar, a custom organic lit sculpture, as well as a 20-foot Japanese hand painted glass screen and bonsai–inspired greenery decorate the interior.

Nord Architects

620 Newport Center Dr. Suite 1100, Newport Beach, CA 92660

Nord Architects partners with its clients and the community in crafting hotels, destination resorts, hotel renovations, and mixed-use developments that respond to context and reflect the end users’ culture. It delivers architecture, design, and planning services while enhancing the natural environment. This is done by shaping structures that adapt to the site and its constraints, and highlighting its potential. Nord’s team of architects works in close collaboration with clients to get a full grasp of their specific needs and employs energy efficient methodologies throughout the process. 

Bill Nord puts 25 years of experience into practice as the firm’s principal architect. His career has primarily focused on the design and construction of hospitality, mixed-use, and residential projects, globally. 

He was a Vice President and Project Director at WATG where he directed design and production efforts on major hospitality and residential projects, including Encore at Wynn Las Vegas and Four Seasons Dublin. The LEED AP and AIA member has since completed numerous expansion and renovation projects for Hilton, Omni, Marriott, and Intercontinental.

One of Nord Architects’ most memorable pieces is Watertable at the Hyatt Regency in Huntington Beach. Floor-to-ceiling windows and a bright, airy dining space create a laid-back vibe that is further extended by the sprawling outdoor patio. Guests can relax in the bar/lounge area, indulge in a craft cocktail or a selection from the sizable wine list, and enjoy the small plates bar menu.

Carlile Coatsworth Architects

18600 MacArthur Boulevard Suite 300, Irvine, CA 92612

Carlile Coatsworth Architects (CCa) is an architectural design and consulting firm that caters to commercial, industrial, and residential clients. It applies problem solving in the process of exploring design solutions that address the needs of the client, taking into consideration the rationale and context of their project. The firm’s client-oriented approach coupled with its deep familiarity with construction and materials has afforded CCa recognition from NAIOP and the AIA.

Collaborative leadership sets Carlile Coatsworth Architects apart, enabling it to be each clients’ strategic partner and innovator. Founding principal Calvin J. Coatsworth is an exemplar of this leadership model. His extensive background as an architect contributes to Stayner Architects’ architecture practice. He has cultivated the firm’s experience in food service design and its know-how around the specific challenges of restaurant construction.

For instance, CCa renovated and expanded Pain du Monde Bakery and Café in the Fashion Island shopping center in Orange County, which revolves around an outdoor John Wayne motif. CCa integrated the owner’s Montana ranch feel with a modern edge by using frosted glass, birch branches, stacked slate, rich woods, and granite. The design yielded a rich, authentic kitchen, and dining environment.



  • 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