Restaurant Renovation Review: Allendale Construction Renovates Historic Site into Urbano Pizza Co.

Walking into the new Urbano Pizza Co. space located on Edmonton’s historic downtown Boardwalk, it becomes immediately apparent there is incredible promise held in this old brick building.

Steve Greene Owner & General Contractor with Allendale was right to say, “this is not going to look like an out of the box franchise.”

This restaurant project is ambitious, yet clearly well envisioned. Everything from the tables to the counters is being made-to-suit this trendy, historic space.

Allendale is able to create these memorable spaces through their commitment to quality and detail. Steve promises ‘Renovations Refined’ and he makes good on that promise.

A patron of Urbano Pizza Co. can expect custom-made tables carved from structural wooden beams. An antiquated effect will be achieved as Steve builds, stains and distresses the wood. This will help ensure the handmade tables are aesthetically connected to the vintage exposed brick and wood of the one hundred year old building. There is something comforting in the experience of sitting down at a heavy, warm, wooden table.

It’s like coming home in the heart of downtown Edmonton.

While it is unfortunate that the original reddish brown clinker brick in the space had been previously painted over. This allowed Steve to realize his vision of the space, with the help of his interior designer, Jennifer Woch of House of Interior Design.

Together, they modernized the space while maintaining the established character of the historic Boardwalk located in the heart of downtown Edmonton.

Jennifer knew how to best to sync the colours in the space: new meets old, and simple meets bold.

Allendale consistently uses the same trades professionals who will show up and finish the job to their exacting standards. When you hire Allendale, you get a team of the best local tradespeople every time.

Steve wanted to ensure the finish would last for years to come without requiring additional reapplication of paint on the stairs in that high traffic area. The existing tile floor will be covered over with hardwood. The wooden stairs will be reinforced, and painted with epoxy.

The details make the difference.

The four imported, vibrantly coloured Italian ovens will be the feature of the new pizzeria. These decorative and unique ovens will be visible from the front door as customers walk in.

Customers can order their pizza fresh, with the local, organic ingredients they want, and walk out 90 seconds later. Still, even if their pizza only takes 90 seconds to bake, the renovations by Allendale will no doubt a leave a long lasting impression with the patrons of Urbano Pizza Co.

Steve was kind enough to show the progress on the Urbano Pizza Co. Project on a Sunday afternoon in Mid-March. The space at this stage speaks to the attention to detail that Steve exhibits on every project.

The floor has just been prepped for the LVT (luxury vinyl tile) to be installed the following day. I was told that the reason for choosing LVT for Urbano was a matter of utility.

A luxury vinyl tile floor is the best option for a kitchen/dining environment because it looks beautiful, is durable, and easy to clean.

Steve has extensive construction industry experience and he knows how fast tiles can get cracked, especially in vintage buildings. Over time building foundations settle, the floor becomes un-level, and ceramic tiles may break — but not luxury vinyl tile.

But also, the heavy cleaning products used for sanitizing kitchens can cause grout to break down and crumble away to nothing. Luxury vinyl tile was a well-considered choice. The deep black faux-wood LVT selection made by House of J Interior Design looks perfect in the space. In part because the old dry wall on the right wall has been concealed under a textured resurfacing that looks convincingly like clean, bare, concrete.

It is the consistent attention to detail that allowed the professional trades people selected by Allendale to build such a rich, vintage feel within the space.

At the time of the visit, the stairs had been carefully removed and were in the process of being painted with epoxy. They will be a bright, warm, red. The reason for using epoxy paint is to guarantee years of durability in this high foot traffic area. The stair railing will be capped with gray quartz, and the sides of the railing are to be supported by concrete board on either side for stability in this high traffic area.

Steve will be installing four feet of glass as a backdrop behind the four high-end Italian ovens. Once again, the addition of a glass backdrop serves as a testament of how Allendale arrives at practical, attractive, and well thought-out features for each renovation project. This glass accent promises to be the most attractive sneeze guard I’ve seen in years.

The gray quartz counters will draw the eye and build symmetry with the painted, gray brick walls. Steve explained to me how he will be installing irregular block woodwork, intricately built-up, to form the feature wall in the upper level dinning area. As he pointed out, this is a cost effective way to provide a unique and complementary detail to the feature wall. I’m greatly looking forward to seeing it.

At this stage in the construction process the space is already showing significant progress. It was fortunate that after an extensive inspection of the electrical and plumbing there were no issues found in the building wiring and there are no leaks in the old pipes.

As Steve waits for the final decorative elements to arrive he has been keeping himself busy preparing and assembling the heavy, wood tables in his garage. The wooden beams were originally engineered to be structural supports, but they will look and feel incredible as custom made, distressed, artisan tables. Even the metal brackets are being custom fabricated in a local metal working shop. The brackets are to be powder-coated red to match the accents in the cozy space.

As always with Allendale, it all comes down to the details.

To say I was impressed with the final renovated Urbano Pizza Co. space would understandably be an understatement to anyone who has experienced the space firsthand. It certainly leaves you with a desire to return.

The most striking change since my previous visit was the front windows. Natural light is welcomed and encouraged to flood deep into the open space. A section of the front wall has been removed and in its place is an all glass frontage.

The door was shifted over to better align with the flow of the restaurant. Patrons are now able to walk through the door and immediately take in the entirety of the hip space. The small floor plan has been made incredibly functional though smart design and the best optimization of the space available. There is a new dining bar that faces onto 103rd Street that would be equally enjoyable in the warmth of summer or the chill of winter.

As I walked further into the newly opened restaurant, I crossed over the epoxy coated stairs. They are a crisp, almost cherry, red.

The paint looks bright and fresh, and thanks to Steve’s foresight in choosing a highly durable paint product, it will stay this way for years to come.

I ran my hand over the sanded smooth, custom-carved wooden tables. I would never have guessed that these tables were once structural beams if I hadn’t already been privy to the process of creating them.

The feature wall was everything that Steve promised it would be. The irregular wood blocks, stained dark black, carry the quality that Allendale is quickly becoming known for.

Allendale did a phenomenal job of gathering the best local tradespeople to make this project everything that it is. There were certainly challenges along the way, as is to be expected when remodelling a building that is over a hundred years old.

Yet, the space is now as uniquely modern as it is honourably historic. The ability to balance these two quite distinct qualities is why Allendale is surly the best construction company for your next renovation project.

Let Allendale help you realize your renovation.