Eddie Sotto began his design career at Knott's Berry Farm in 1979 as an assistant project designer. His first ride design and production was the successful "Soap Box Racer" and created some of the thematic structures and iconic character Clock for "Camp Snoopy." It was a great thrill to return decades later to produce a conceptual presentation and analysis for a remodel of the historic "Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant."
Recommendations, sketches and images samples, graphic designs, plans and market trends, even historical providence went into a slide presentation. Everything matters. Here are just a few random slides to give you a sense of the extent to which we delved into the project. We tend to be ambitious and throw the net wide to capture the vision and then rein in some of the inspiration with the client based on what they can execute in the time and budget they have. The reason we do this is that the best ideas need to get on the table and usually they can be executed in a more modest way and still retain their power. At times, the client goes with the full vision. If you never see "the wow," how can you achieve it? Many of those suggestions were adopted by the in-house team that designed and executed the final remodel. Happy to have had a hand in the inspiration.
Few realize that historically the Chicken Dinner Restaurant began as a roadside stand selling Boysenberries, pies, and other goods. to make extra money Cordelia Knott served her own Fried chicken recipe to visitors and it became a surprise hit. Extra dining space was needed and this triggered a series of additions all surrounding their home, which was in the middle. That original house is still embedded inside the restaurant today and we thought that being able to dine in a reimagined Knott home would help convey that welcoming sense of family that is Knott's.
A sense of place.
Leveraging today's appetite for casual outdoor dining we proposed "The Patch", an artifact infused "Barn," and the original Knott family "Farmhouse" as unique dining environments.