Atlantic Grill

Location: Rye, NH
Owner:  The Labrie Family

Atlantic Grill

The cornerstone building of this emerging seaside village center is a 296-seat, 11,000 square foot restaurant that offers beach-going locals and tourists a place to “shake off the sand” and meet up with friends. The design process began with a vision: the owners of another popular local restaurant imagined a dense urban shopping and business neighborhood branching off an active traffic roundabout on the way to the beach. The goal was to entice traffic flow with highly visible shops and restaurants in a pedestrian friendly environment. The Atlantic Grill is an energy-efficient, coastal-classic modern restaurant situated on a corner lot to attract pedestrian traffic. Large glass walls and an outdoor patio on the south, sun-facing side promote engagement between guests and passersby. The interior is large and with a flow that grants diners an intimate space to eat while feeling part of a more expansive environment. The main dining spaces are adorned with long-span timber trusses and colors and décor were chosen to mimic the freshness of the nearby surf.

Atlantic Grill Website

The list of COTE (AIA Committee on the Environment) items was created to help understand how a project meets the needs of users and how it impacts the environment.  The list focuses on best practices and high impact strategies for creating healthy places to live and work.  Here are some ways this project measures up to the COTE list:


Built atop an existing building site while reinforcing the town’s master plan for business development for that location.  Landscaping and storm water management eliminates potential for flooding.


Serves as a major connection point between Route 95 and Rye Beach.  The building scale is consistent with local residential housing stock.  Benches and a walkway connect the restaurant with other nearby developments, creating a pedestrian-friendly experience.


Sustainable landscaping and storm water management eliminates the potential for flooding.  Grading improvements redirect storm water to nearby historic wetlands.  Bioswales were incorporated into the ground to improve water quality.  Other Ecology Measures taken:

– Dark Sky compliant lighting.

– VRF heating and cooling sustem

– Local plant material used throughout


Water saving devices were installed in all restroom facilitied and washing areas where practical.


The exterior was designed with durable materials.  The shell is well insulated and triple glazed windows reduce operating costs.  All dining areas promote natural light.  The kitchen has a high efficiency hood system.  The restaurant is compactly designed and is south oriented to minimize heat loss and improve heat gain in the winter.


The windows and exterior shell system are airtight.  A heat pump VRF system was installed for efficient heating and cooling.  The use of natural light minimizes the need for artificial lighting most days.


Low VOC finished were used and the dining, bar and kitchen area possess a quality ventilation system.  The restaurant is walkable to future adjacent shopping areas.


Low embodied construction materials were chosen.  Local stone was used for exterior finishes.  The restaurant design anticipates the addition of solar resources in the future.


Reuse of an existing paved lot and retail shop.  New outdoor seating is available on the south side of the restaurant.  Dense plantings along the roadway create a buffer between the restaurant and traffic and promote the storm water management system.


Structural JSN Associates
MEP/FP Petersen Engineering
Civil Altus Engineering
Landscape Woodburn & Company


Year Completed 2016
Size 12,500 square feet
Seating for 190