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Patina Group's Market Cafe Just a Piece of AT&T Center Operations

By Eric Richardson
Published: Tuesday, March 16, 2010, at 11:18PM
Market Cafe Eric Richardson [Flickr]

Market Cafe at the AT&T Center, a new casual cafe from the Patina Restaurant Group.

Not quite visible enough to be a destination, yet too fun to classify as a building cafeteria, Patina Restaurant Group's newest Market Cafe at the AT&T Center is an affordable eatery in a part of Downtown that's light on lunch options.

It's also just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the company's operations in the building, which take up 15,000 square feet and include the company's headquarters, catering kitchen, pastry kitchen and handling bookings for the two glass-walled floors at the top of the 32-story tower.

Food and pastries for the casual cafe are prepared in the company's catering kitchen, which services a range of events from small to large. Connected is Patina's pastry kitchen, which services all of the restaurant group's restaurants.

The menu, which features nothing over $10, is designed to be changed up constantly.

In part, that's a nod to the office workers who will be the eatery's primary customers. "When you serve the same clientele, you have to be very creative in your menu," notes Chef Joachim Splichal, who opened Patina Restaurant in 1989.

Those who don't work in the building currently have to navigate the office building's protocols, stopping at security to get a visitor sticker that must be returned on departure. They must then take an escalator down to the building's "Garden Level," where the cafe and kitchens are located.

It's a bit of a trek, but Splichal believes that it's worth it. "The quality we serve is exceptional," he said, "so I think people will go through it."

Along with the fresh food, a variety of gourmet packaged goods are on sale. The space will serve as a model for upcoming tweaks to other Market Cafe locations at the Wells Fargo Center and the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

High above the AT&T Center cafe, Patina is also handling private bookings for the building's 30th and 32nd floors, which once housed a restaurant but are now 6,000 square feet of glass-walled raw space. Upcoming bookings include a wedding. Splichal said that his company is also working with building owner LBA Realty on putting the building's auditorium to good use, with film screenings potentially on the horizon.

Market Cafe at AT&T Center / 1150 S. Olive / 6:30am - 3pm / 213-536-4090


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