The Fighting Burrito, a popular late-night, fast-food burrito shop in Ames was looking to expand its business to downtown Des Moines and jumped at the chance to develop this tenant improvement space in the Nationwide Insurance Building just off of Locust Street, on 13th Avenue, near the Western Gateway Park. The shop caters to the downtown lunch crowd with its selection of fresh ingredients that are rolled up in a choice of tortilla and also offers delivery to nearby businesses. The challenge of the design was to balance the efficiency of the queuing line while maximizing seating capacity within the relatively narrow space. A simple solution of “divide and conquer” was devised to split the queuing line into two separate lines from the middle of the restaurant, effectively doubling the efficiency of the restaurant.
The visionary owner of Fighitng Burrito took every opportunity to capitalize on the architecture to communicate the brand of the business. Inspired by the restaurant’s hallmark tortillas, the undulating ceiling cloud, the large curved booths, and the bamboo wrapped alcoves were all created with the simple idea of “wrapping” architectural elements around one another to define individual spaces within the restaurant. Employing the talents of Des Moines based graphic artists, Basemint, vinyl graphics communicating the unique brand of Fighting Burrito adorn many of the walls and ceiling surfaces.