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Stir: A glass act

North Carolina restaurant's wall of hand-blown art sends message of mindfulness

When it opened in 2017, one goal of the Mediterranean restaurant Vidrio in Raleigh, N.C., was to give diners a “wow moment” when they walk in the door. 

Lou Moshakos, owner of parent company LM Restaurants, developed the concept around the “filter word” vibrancy — a word that would serve as a North Star for the concept and design.

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A friend introduced him to the glasswork artist Doug Frates in Ohio, who proposed filling a 30-foot-by-50-foot wall with more than 750 glass orbs designed to evoke the sunset over blue Mediterranean waters.

The vibrant display also gave the restaurant its name: Vidrio means “glass” in Spanish.

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Underneath the glass pieces, the wall is painted with the phrase, “A moment for the time being,” which owner Moshakos hopes will focus diners on the present.

Frates used silica from Italy for the display. A former Marine who returned from Iraq in 2003, Frates enrolled in a glass-blowing class as he looked for a civilian career. Now at his expanding studio Doug Frates Glass in Springfield, Ohio, he trains other veterans and others in the art of glass blowing.

Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter: @livetodineout

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