“A series of pulleys and baskets make up an almost steampunk Rube Goldberg-esque method for guests who order the literal ‘top shelf’ spirits from Oak’s stunning bar. It’s quite an entertaining spectacle as the bottles are winched down to the bartenders where they are integrated into some seriously creative craft cocktails.” —Style Blueprint


Architecture, Interior Design, Lighting Design, and Purchasing


Nashville, Tennessee


June 2017

Oak Steakhouse, adjacent to the Westin Hotel in downtown Nashville, is a dramatic 2-level space with soaring 35-foot ceilings. The Johnson Studio’s design concept is an inverted oak tree with its “roots” turned upward to cradle the upper mezzanine dining room with abstract “dropping acorn” pendant lights. With only one species of oak used throughout, as well as 100-year-old reclaimed wood, the space gives a rustic nod to Nashville’s western heritage. The design commits fully to the arboreal theme with ‘bark’-inspired shapes and furnishings. A gleaming marble raw bar is dotted with 25-foot custom pendant lights and pewter accents. An open expo kitchen with a custom butcher block table puts the chef on display and adds activity to the room. The slick oak bar features operable back bar baskets that move top-shelf liquor up and down as needed. Mechanical cranks, steel baskets and racking all created by a local Nashville metal artisan add authenticity and grit to the otherwise refined restaurant. Together the design elements create a restaurant that is striking yet comfortable.


2019 ASID Georgia Design Awards, Commercial Best in Show
2019 ASID Georgia Design Awards, Commercial Hospitality Restaurants, Gold