Tupelo Honey

beautiful wooden bar with blue fringe

Tupelo Honey

  • Branding
  • Hospitality
  • Interior Architecture
  • marketing

Designing in-person and online destinations for an emerging national restaurant brand

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Streetsense’s Interior Architecture team met Tupelo Honey Cafe when their flagship store needed a refresh. That design and process went so well, it evolved into designing and building the interiors of multiple restaurants for a national expansion. Instead of a “copy-paste” look and feel, Streetsense gave each location a distinct local charm, borne from the local market’s history and sense of place.


In addition to the design of the restaurants, Tupelo Honey entrusted Streetsense’s Agency team to ground-up redesign the website and the menus—creating a cohesive brand experience across the digital and physical worlds, for the first time in Tupelo history.




The prototype for the new store vision began in Asheville, Tupelo Honey’s hometown. Through the redesign of their South Asheville location, we crafted a design narrative that provided a set of guidelines for the next chapter of their evolution. This resulted in a new visual language that would carry into all new stores. 


While we worked to standardize the foundation of each store’s design, new sites also presented new opportunities and challenges that called for unique solutions.


We began by researching the local area at every scale, uncovering layers of context that would provide inspiration for new patterns, details, and features in the space.


collage of design patterns
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In every store the design adapts to fit the new story the place was meant to tell, while maintaining a rollout mentality that maintains a standardized baseline of materials and finishes. Ultimately Tupelo Honey’s story is the one that shines through. Side by side the stores are distinguishable by their own unique qualities, yet share the same Tupelo Honey DNA.


The bar is the central visual of the space and gives energy to every dining experience. Hand-glazed amber brick wall tile, vintage milk glass pendants, open shelves with glowing bottles—these eye-catching visual features define the heart of the room.


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Cozy booths anchor the end of the space, giving a visual backdrop to a casual open dining area. The design provides opportunities to integrate wall-covering patterns or commissioned mural artwork—all to fit each individual space.


As landing spots for energy that spills over from the bar, indoor beer gardens are additional focal points of Tupelo Honey restaurants.


Design staples of the indoor beer gardens, in all Tupelo Honey locations, are string lights and florals that create a warm glow for guests. Then, each location benefits from unique wall cladding, accent colors, and floor pattern to provide distinct local charm


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plates and silverware and a towel
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Streetsense took on the task of modernizing OS&E (Operating Supplies and Equipment) and drew inspiration from the brand’s new identity. With the challenge of updating multiple locations, they offered three distinct design directions. The team crafted a look and feel narrative that served as a guide for the brand’s evolution from the physical stores through to the tabletop. Each store used standard foundational pieces, while new pieces were sprinkled throughout to enhance the unique characteristics of each location through new patterns, details, and features.


The team redesigned the menus to reflect both the fresh sophistication of the built environment as well as the updated digital experience. The new look-and-feel features thoughtful placement of memorable flora motifs and brand patterns to add visual interest without detracting from the menu descriptions. This holistic approach to brand touchpoints in both the online and on-site realms creates strong brand cohesion for Tupelo’s audience.


The Streetsense Agency team worked to design and launch a wholly new web experience, one that used fresh video and photography, incorporated elements of the memorable menu design, and allowed seamless searchability for the expanding restaurant’s many bespoke, local destinations.


  • +95%

    revenue per SF

  • +342%

    social media mentions per month

  • -29%

    construction cost per SF

After 5 years and 15 locations, our approach to creative rollout design has given Tupelo Honey a recognizable collection of stores that look and feel connected, yet each tell their own unique story.


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