August 03, 2016

Toasted - Behind the Scenes

See where beautiful design begins.

When Joel Roldan decided to create a restaurant over a year and a half ago, he knew he wanted something with a clean design and a green footprint. He also wanted to establish a dynamic coffee program based around both quality and friendliness. To ask questions and find answers, he went to one of the best programs in Dallas, Davis St. Espresso. During his meeting with owner Shannon Neffendorf, Joel saw a man sitting in one of the reclaimed wooden booths at Davis St. deep in thought over the design plans he was drawing out.

“Shannon told me, 'This is the designer you should use for your restaurant,’” Joel says.

That designer was STASH Design owner and founder, Gary Buckner, who completed the buildout and design for Davis St. Espresso (and the same reclaimed booth where Joel first spotted him). Soon, Gary and Joel were chatting about goals for this new cafe and restaurant, Toasted. Joel liked that Gary didn’t used autoCAD for his initial design plans, allowing him to creatively create and - when necessary, change - unique concepts and ideas.

"The way Gary executes stuff has an old school feel with a modern twist. He’s so trustworthy and just wants to help,” he says.


Gary began working with Joel to find the perfect location for Toasted - a process that took well over a year. Now, STASH Design is providing a full buildout for the new restaurant located at Ross and Greenville Avenue in Dallas. STASH has worked in collaboration with Joel and his partners as well as their branding company, Bread and Butter to make sure Toasted’s brand remains cohesive from logo design to restaurant aesthetics.

The goal is to create a comfortable hangout space where people feel like they can stay to eat and work. The large open interior will have plenty of seating for afternoon brunch or weekly meetings as well as a dedicated quiet workspace upstairs. Establishing a homey yet modern feel has been important from the start as a way to set Toasted a part from the popular stark minimalism found in many current coffee shop designs.

"If you go too clean, it looks like a lab. We still want it to feel homey and comfortable,” Joel says.


A whitewashed pine ceiling, floral murals by Haylee Ryan in both bathrooms and patches of exposed brick are all aspects of Toasted meant to add a bit of life and character to the modern design. Another mural created from puzzle pieces by the STASH team fills out the thoughtful yet eclectic design in the common seating area. 

Gary’s father, Gary Buckner Sr. is the general contractor for the project. Joel hired him for the job after working with STASH on the initial design and location plans - another testament to the importance relationships have played in this project. 


When Gary Sr. tells people he’s working on the Toasted buildout, most know exactly where the building is located. This is due in part to STASH Design’s strategic planning when it comes to the exterior design of the building. A rounded vestibule serves both as the main entrance for the restaurant as well as a patio space satiated with natural light. To keep the seating here cool enough for hot Texas summers, STASH installed hand-welded tempered, low-e glass windows surrounding the space, adding a third unique environment to the large interior and upstairs workspace.

This thoughtful exterior is not only beneficial for Toasted, but has the power to positively affect the rest of the new businesses located in the same shopping center.


“Gary demands quality and consistency from his team.”

“What happens here will affect other businesses nearby. This is not a simple design to create yet STASH Design has already achieved noticeable impact,” Gary Sr. says.

This is one of the first projects the father and son duo have worked on together, and Gary Sr. has been surprised at the dynamic skills and talent of his son and the rest of the STASH team.

“Gary demands quality and consistency from his team,” he says.


The list of unique details for Toasted goes on and on - LED lights in the kitchen prep room, handcrafted tables complete with the Toasted logo built into the base, and the handmade planter boxes that will hang in the patio to add some color and organic charm. A brass “T” set within newly-poured concrete at the restaurant's entrance sets the tone for the space. Similarly, the planning, hard work and partnerships poured into this space provide confirmation that Toasted’s design and aesthetics are one of a kind. 

Toasted is set to open soon - be on the lookout for updates and make sure you stop by!  

Photography by Doug Klembara. Words by Kelsi Klembara.