San Diego has made a name for itself amongst craft beer enthusiasts. A growing number of brewing companies have popped up in the local dining scene, touting each of their unique brews as menu highlights. And just like other restaurant projects, these brewing companies are seeking the help of successful interior designers to help them realize their culinary visions.DISD Graduate, Megan Pucak, Class of 2008
Design Institute of San Diego graduate Megan Pucak is one of those designers. She graduated in 2008 and has now established her own firm, Megan Pucak Interior Design, handling both residential and commercial projects. “I like the balance of the two because residential design is so intimate and personal for the client and commercial is less so,” she explains. “For me, it works out to mix the two so I don’t get burned out on one or the other.”Stone Brewery Tap Room, Seating Area
Megan was contacted by the project manager from Stone Brewing Company as they were looking for some help just a few weeks before they opened their Liberty Station location in 2013. “They found me through my website and wanted to add some art work the space. I did complete a plan for that space but unfortunately it was never fully realized,” says Megan. “However, about a year later when they were looking to redesign their downtown Tap Room they brought me in.”Other seating area, Stone Brewery Tap Room
The client “had built out the bar but the space felt very sterile and generic,” explains Megan. She credits Steve Robbins, Stone’s Director of Hospitality, with having the overall vision for the space. “They wanted to give it a grungier vibe, something like an off the beaten path music venue that you might wander into in downtown London or Berlin.” The overall look was gritty and black and white – almost like a subversive-feeling street scene.Full view of the Stone Brewery Mural
The goal was to complete the project in two months. The most tedious part of the project was attempting to glue 2,000 bottlecaps to the surface of a wall. “It was a slightly bigger endeavor than we thought,” Megan shares. Even after experimenting with all sorts of different glues and adhesives, in the end there wasn’t a perfectly efficient option. Their original plan of completing the bottlecap project on a Saturday afternoon went out the window, and while the staff at the Tap Room continued to work on the task during downtime, they didn’t end up covering as many walls as Megan originally planned on.Close up of the bottlecap wall piece
Tedious mini-projects aside, working with artist Jack Stricker on the mural, which takes up a majority of the Tap Room dining room, was the highlight of the project for Megan. Stone nomenclature and slogans were worked into the mural, in the graffiti on the wall, and in other areas, but they didn’t want it to feel like a Stone advertisement. Striking the right balance was key in pulling that off: “I think that Jack got it exactly right, and it was amazing watching the mural go up.”Mural Artist Jack Striker
Currently keeping Megan busy is a project refurnishing a company suite at the Georgia Dome and an office remodel for a contractor she works with regularly. “But further into this career I realize that the element of the unknown keeps this job interesting and keeps me growing as a designer.” Having that point of view this early in her professional life is the ticket to success in an industry that’s constantly evolving.