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The Jersey boardwalk empire strikes back


By David Kaufman Photography by TK


O


nce known as the “crown jewel” of the Jersey Shore, Asbury Park is undergoing a revitalization in an attempt to bring it back


to its former glory. The newest dining entrant to its mile-long


oceanfront boardwalk is the Boards, which aptly embodies two American culinary icons—the classic diner and the traditional beach shack.


For the interiors, architects Michelle Agnese


and Fadi Riscala of New York-based Riscala Agnese Design Group paired a relaxing, resort-like atmosphere with a design-driven, upscale aesthetic, deftly balancing large amounts of natural light with a materials palette inspired by the wooden boardwalk outside. Like that boardwalk, “The materials needed to be durable to withstand the abuse from the weather,” Riscala explains, adding that they have partnered with the Boards owners on a trio of earlier projects. This means lots of wood


and tile, along with a system of modular shades that ensure the stark, seasonal sunlight doesn’t overwhelm the restaurant. They’re elements, Agnese adds, “that also help give the place a nice weathered, stormy look.” As the name implies, there are boards


everywhere throughout the space—vertical wooden ones at the restaurant’s entrance to help conceal the street on one side, and reveal the sea on the other. Further on are simple, chalkboard-style horizontal white panels crafted from enameled tin


GS MAGAZINE 51


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