By Mario Toneguzzi
Acorn Wood Designs has made a name for itself across North America for its quality millwork in high-end restaurants. Some of its latest work is in Vancouver’s new Elisa Steakhouse which recently opened in the Yaletown neighbourhood.
Ryan Wilcox, Chief Financial Officer of Acorn, said the company’s goal and purpose is to be a high-quality, premium millwork manufacturer with its work arriving on time to help ensure a restaurant opens on schedule.
“The core customers for Acorn are Joeys, Earls and The Keg and we do some one-off restaurants like Elisa,” said Wilcox. “We want that wow factor when people walk into the doors of a restaurant saying ‘hey, this is a high quality place and not just your run of the mill restaurant’.”
“We want to be unique and a lot of that comes out of the work the interior designer and architect is doing. We don’t take credit for that. But we try to make their vision come to life. We want people to feel that it’s high quality millwork that they’re touching, that they’re sitting on and interacting with and not something that someone reacts negatively to in any way.”
The company has done work across North America.
Acorn is a division of Peregrine, one of Canada’s largest retail display and millwork manufacturers that is based in Western Canada. Peregrine acquired Acorn in 2017. Vancouver-based Peregrine is a designer and manufacturer of high-end retail environments for some of the world’s best known retail brands. The acquisition of Acorn has allowed Peregrine, which was founded in 1977, to grow its presence in the hospitality industry.
Peregrine is the company brand for its retail work while Acorn is known for its restaurant work.
Elisa, which features a Grillworks Infierno wood-fired grill, is operated by the Toptable Group.
“Elisa was inspired by the values of sharing memorable moments around the table with family and friends,” said Michael Doyle, President of Toptable Group, in a news release. “Designed as a response to the traditional steakhouse experience, Elisa exemplifies a refreshing spirit of hospitality through its unique and feminine details.”
Elisa joined the company’s portfolio of eight restaurants in Vancouver and Whistler.
“It’s a beautiful restaurant and it’s getting great reviews. We’re really proud of our contribution to the restaurant and we’re looking forward to doing more like this,” added Wilcox.
The 6,800-square-foot restaurant was designed by New York’s Rockwell Group and is a mix of contemporary West Coast design and decor. Modern touches throughout the airy lounge welcome guests into the main dining room curated with exquisite artwork, said the company in a news release.
Wilcox said Acorn’s work in Elisa included all the hostess stations, wine decanting stations, the ceiling millwork, veneer wall panels and the wine room itself which is a feature piece in the restaurant.
“We did all of the oak shelving in the wine room,” he said. “We did the washroom corridor veneer wall paneling, the doors into all the washrooms as well as the ceiling features throughout the restaurant.”
Wilcox describes Acorn as a “premium architectural millwork company focused on high-end restaurant millwork.”
“That’s furniture and fixtures in the restaurant. Examples of that are the booths, the small walls that divide all of the booths, the bar, the patio booths, ceiling features, any veneer wall paneling, doors and door frames, the hostess and service stations, washroom vanities and the table tops throughout the restaurants,” said Wilcox.
“When you walk into the restaurant any finished wood component in the restaurant is coming from us. We also do metal, solid surface, upholstery and plastic manufacturing in-house.”
Its work is very project management heavy and Acorn works very closely with their customers’ project managers and the general contractor to keep projects on schedule.
“The two biggest factors for our success are high quality products and on-time delivery,” said Wilcox.
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Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary has 37 years of experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, city and breaking news, and business. For 12 years as a business writer, his main beats were commercial and residential real estate, retail, small business and general economic news. He nows works on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.