Film producer, restaurateur and creative designer Paul Ardaji teamed up with Meyda Lighting to create a stunning lighting design and interior for the Cherokee Chophouse in Marietta, Georgia. This is just one of several collaborations.
In January 2022, during a brief visit with his young son, Mr. Ardaji met with his brother-in-law Gus Tselios, who owns six restaurants in the Marietta area. Mr. Ardaji, who operated several restaurants of his own in Greenwich, Connecticut, knows hospitality design and saw great potential for the 9500-square-foot steakhouse. He proposed an extraordinary interior design concept that was approved immediately.
The client, Mr. Tselios, is a brilliant entrepreneur who moved from New York to Marietta, Georgia, more than 25 years ago. As luck would have it, the ensuing Ardaji/Tselios collaboration among the two brothers-in-law on this project was a unique opportunity. For the new location, they changed the name from Cherokee Cattle Company to Cherokee Chophouse to reflect the unique modern decor.
Mr. Ardaji used a brilliant interior color scheme featuring grays, bronzes, golds, black, and other finish hues for the new dining venue. Mr. Tselios loved the concept, and Mr. Ardaji contacted his long-time colleague Max Cohen of Meyda to create dramatic lighting statement pieces. "Lighting is everything," explained Mr. Ardaji, and he needed to specify new fixtures for each room.
"The restaurant's interior tells the story with beautiful finishes, hand-painted crown molding, elegant wall treatments, fine paintings, and attractive bar features," continued Mr. Ardaji. "We needed a gorgeous chandelier for the 28-foot entryway ceiling, and we picked the dramatic, stylish Jayne 5-tiered chandelier that weighs 380 pounds!"
In all, Meyda created 40 chandeliers, pendants, and sconces featuring nearly a dozen new and unique designs. All luminaires were delivered on time for installation in four distinctive dining areas: the private dining room, service area, main dining room, and bar room.
In the private dining room are three drum-styled Cilindro Barnabas pendants featuring a clean geometric design on Beige Textrene fabric with a Statuario Idalight bottom diffuser. The space is also illuminated with complementary pendants. In the service/pick-up area, aircraft cable suspends two Cilindro pendants, designed with a modern sophisticated aesthetic, above the counter.
The main dining room features 12 Cilindro architectural-styled, two-tiered fabric pendants with Statuario Idalight bottom diffusers. In contrast, the arched ceiling in the wine room dining area features three stunning wine bottle chandeliers that add personality and pizazz to the setting while complementing the wine barrels embedded in the back wall. The artistic ceiling is made of cork, and there is a Renoir reproduction on the wall. This space includes Cilindro linen pendants, half-cylinder-styled sconces, and beveled metal stud-like accents.
Around the exterior are a dozen tapered wall sconces that stand out like welcoming beacons at night.
Mr. Ardaji continued, "I developed a powerful bond with Max Cohen and Meyda Lighting based on trust- on all levels-- including finished product, delivery date, material costs, and quality. Max is like a brother to me, and we plan on collaborating on many additional projects in the near future."
"Having a beautiful restaurant is very important," explained Cherokee Chophouse Owner Gus Tselios. "However, it's essential to have the perfect combination of high-quality food, service, and elegant design."