April 1, 2018

Ellen Hughes Reclaims and Recycles at Fig + Farro in Minneapolis

Any restaurant worth its salt these days shouldn’t just taste and look good—it should do good, too. Or that’s the idea behind Minneapolis’s Fig + Farro, whose vegetarian menu is winning as many raves as its décor, courtesy of Ellen Hughes

Located in a former schoolhouse, Fig + Farro’s 6,000 square feet of dining space, along with a 3,000-square-foot prep kitchen in the basement, is furnished almost entirely with reclaimed items. “We wanted the vibe to be multicultural, but cohesive,” says restaurant co-founder Michelle Courtright; she describes it as “a mix of textiles and textures so you aren’t sure if you are in a coffee shop in Istanbul or a bookstore in Paris.”

Yucca plants hang among the reclaimed furnishings, including banquettes from the previous restaurant and vintage rugs sourced from Kazempour Rugs. Photography by Ashley Sullivan.

The emphasis on reused and recycled items—including rugs, dining chairs and tables, kitchen equipment, and accessories like antique door knockers—helps further the restaurant’s mission to fight climate change by reducing carbon footprints. But they were careful to balance “our effort to have a laid-back, hippie vibe,” says Courtright, with sharp, charming accents like Hygge & West wallpaper inside a child-size tree fort.

Vintage books and mismatched tables and chairs lend the dining area a casual, lived-in vibe. Photography by Ashley Sullivan.
A sketch on a napkin inspired the signature tree fort, constructed by Courtright’s father. Photography by Ashley Sullivan.
Behr’s Winter Way navy blue paint complements the stain on the existing bar, framed by original brick columns. Photography by Ashley Sullivan.
The Peacock Room, named after its Anthropologie wallpaper, is grounded by another piece from Kazempour Rugs, flipped upside down.
Reclaimed and stained crates from produce manufacturers serve as displays for pottery and preserved lemons. Photography by Ashley Sullivan.

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