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Patrons are temporarily transported to France at Monarque, a steakhouse and dinner theater that debuted last month in Baltimore’s Harbor East area. Locally based Patrick Sutton oversaw the interior design of the 135-seat venue, which includes a main dining room, bar, and 20-seat private dining space. The new F&B concept marks Atlas Restaurant Group’s 14th property in the Maryland city, and it occupies the former site of an office space within a warehouse building. Acknowledging the renovation and re-emergence of the 19th-century structure, Monarque takes its name from the monarch butterfly, a symbol of transformation and new opportunity.
The entrance is distinguished by an elaborate illuminated marquee that sets the tone for the moody experience inside. “It is a story of romance, intrigue, and richness,” Sutton says of the design scheme, which incorporates a variety of textures—like velvet, mohair, brass, stained wood, antique mirror, and marble—traditional of French bistros, brasseries, or Burlesque clubs. Instead of the customary—and expected—black and burgundy color palette, Monarque maintains a distinct identity with materials appearing in earthier hues like muted rust, moss green, and bleached walnut, giving the restaurant “a sense of antiquity, almost like a sepia-toned photograph,” describes Sutton. Elaborate lighting and evocative artwork further establish the narrative, proving that, at Monarque, more really is more.
Caitlin St John | Hospitality Design