Nirchi’s Pizza restaurant is a long-standing local favorite known for their unique square-slice, thick crust pizza. Founded by an Italian immigrant family in Endicott, NY in 1967, the family trademarked the name and expanded to seven franchise locations, beginning in 1984. The Vestal Parkway location experienced an accidental fire in May of 2013, and the building suffered a 75% loss.

L2studio architecture and their consultants provided initial damage assessment, and then proceeded to redesign the restaurant; salvaging only the exterior wall enclosure of the main dining and kitchen space, while preserving a secondary sunroom dining space that was unaffected.

The project proceeded as a close collaboration between architect, owner, and tenant; and was viewed as an opportunity to redesign the restaurant to be better than it was before. Every aspect of the restaurant’s functionality was analyzed, and each space was optimized for the best efficiency and comfort. In the redesign, exterior bearing walls were raised and reinforced; new roof and floor structure were placed; the kitchen’s capacity was increased, but reorganized into a smaller footprint; a dedicated take-out entrance and service counter was introduced; and restrooms were resized and made to conform with accessibility standards.

The overall aesthetics of the renovated interior were modernized to create an “urban feel” to appeal to nearby University students that frequent the restaurant; featuring exposed steel ceiling structure, industrial lighting fixtures, and exposed HVAC ductwork.