How to Design a Cafe Restaurant

A cafe restaurant is an informal place for a pastry and coffee, or a light lunch during the day that is transformed into a romantic spot for dinner at night. Cafe fare is usually simpler than the food in tablecloth restaurants. Small-town cafes frequently become relaxed places neighbors gather to visit over a cup of coffee and a sandwich. Clean lines and lots of light are features of many cafes. Start with these basics to design a cafe restaurant.

Hang cafe-style curtains on the windows. Use light colors for a less formal look. Darker, solid colors will create a more mature, elegant look.

Set square tables around the center of the room and booths or banquettes along the walls. Use light-colored tablecloths, and place candles and fresh-cut flowers on the tables.

Install wood or wood laminate floors. Use a rustic, textured wall treatment in white or off-white. Hang large photographs of city scenes, bright posters or vibrant art.

Select a location that has room for sidewalk seating. Use wrought-iron tables and chairs on the sidewalk with patio umbrellas, or build an awning or a shade sail. Use tablecloths and fresh flowers outside, too, and candles for romantic evening dinners.

Build a bar out of wood similar to the floor with a display case at one end for fresh pastries. Prominently display an espresso machine on the bar, and hire a barista to make coffee drinks.


  • Make Wi-Fi available for customers who are stopping in for a cup of coffee and lunch during the daytime. Lower the lighting, and discourage patrons from using their laptops in the evening.

About the Author

Meg Jernigan has been writing for more than 30 years. She specializes in travel, cooking and interior decorating. Her offline credits include copy editing full-length books and creating marketing copy for nonprofit organizations. Jernigan attended George Washington University, majoring in speech and drama.