+/- 5,400 S.F.
Located in the heart of Downtown Chico, Momona is an innovative Asian-Fusion restaurant built in an elegant existing brick building from the 1800s. The inspiration for Momona came from the Asia-Pacific region and is a representation of the owner’s personal views of, and relationship with noodle, bao, and other foods from these regions.
Design and construction of Momona required balancing remediation of the shell building and construction of the new restaurant infill under two separate sets of needs, budgets, and contract documents with two separate clients. Completion of the shell building involved the structural retrofit of the crumbling building, which had sat vacant for decades. During design it was discovered that the existing building was a partial remnant leftover from the old majestic Park Hotel, which had been constructed in 1888 and partially burned in 1947. Structural retrofit techniques included doweling rebar into existing sinking granite block column footings, recreation of cast-iron facade pilasters with precast concrete, installation of a new slab on grade throughout the building, and stabilization of the front facade with a new steel substructure that is blended seamlessly with extensive storefront glazing and transom windows.
Due to a constrained site footprint, Momona was designed with an indoor/outdoor seating area (affectionately referred to as the Lanai), separated from the main dining and bar area by roll up glass doors. In good weather, the Lanai can be opened directly to the exterior, allowing guests to connect with the vibrant streetscape. In inclement weather the exterior roll up glass door can be closed, and the interior roll up glass door can be opened to connect the indoor spaces as one. These modifications to the existing building shell were approved through collaboration with the City of Chico, requiring numerous applications, site visits, and negotiations to entitle this complicated project.
Inside, Momona was carefully crafted to reflect a dining experience as eclectic as the menu and vision behind the restaurant concept itself. Artwork and murals adorn the original brick walls, fixtures and furniture reflect the refined industrial style of the building, and material selections serve as a partner to the vibrant food and drink choices the restaurant is known for. Both the extensive backbar wall treatment, and feature signage on the facade were designed and fabricated offsite and installed in modular components in order to meet a strict construction timeline.