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Maine College of Art & Design

Portland, ME

Redesigning a cafe for an art school challenged elite|studio e to create an innovative idea within the space. Our team collaborated with the millwork contractor to create removable chalkboard panels on the counterfronts. This approach allows students the freedom to design or draw the station names and menu options for each serving station, providing budding artists with a unique platform to showcase their talents (view the photos below). Our involvement with this project, from conception to completion, maintains the design integrity illustrated in the rendering, and ensures design focal points are buildable.


In addition, there were operational goals to achieve. elite’s task for this project was to transform the existing space into a more inviting environment without reconfiguring the mechanical components. A significant portion of the existing counters required reconstruction, as most were either mobile or served many different purposes during lunch. The client wanted a more permanent and efficient layout that would enhance the flow within the dining facility and create the opportunity to showcase additional food options. We also created a Grab and Go market. This addition not only allows the students to quickly grab a snack, but also enables them to pick up orders from a mobile window, eliminating the need to enter through the entire cafe.


This project required us to stay on a tight budget while achieving the client’s goals. To do so, our team designed within the existing footprint and did not move any major mechanical components. Today, students at the Maine College of Art have an immersive dining experience with operational and menu improvements.

Project Solutions Provided

Conceptual Designs, 3D Renderings, Design Package Presentation, Foodservice Design, Budget Management, Construction Drawings, Construction Management, Foodservice Equipment Provided & Installation, Opening Day Support

Project Gallery

Project Solutions

Higher Education, Micromarket, Cafe

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