Thally: The Story Behind the Intriguing LookBy Olga Boikess | November 15, 2013 By Olga Boikess | November 15, 2013
A showcase for chef/co-owner Ron Tanaka’s modern American cooking with an energy that's revitalizing the Shaw corridor, Thally has a look as distinctive as the food it serves. Its vintage storefront location uses familiar rustic elements - exposed brick, reclaimed wood, barn fittings and a high ceiling - yet, while remaining warm and welcoming, it still comes across as unique.
We toured the space with co-owner/manager Sherman Outhuok and Matthew Hlubny, the artist who helped the owners realize their vision (the architect was Peter Hapstak). They were striving for "authenticity, not just to go for a look,” says Outhuok, and they wanted the surroundings to “match the food concept of simple ingredients in fresh, uncomplicated dishes." For a theme, they decided to focus on the history of Old Shaw (a neighborhood of row and carriage houses), and especially on Naylor Court (which once housed a stable, directly behind the restaurant) and nearby Blagden Alley. The overall objective was simple enough, he says: to "make people want to sit here."
The slide show explores some of the ways they built out the space and chose materials, and the key role of the artist in pulling it all together.