Interior Design Spotlight: French Metro Antiques and Atlas The Restaurant

Three years ago, French Metro embarked on a journey to restore and furnish the circa 1923 Ellis Building in downtown Fayetteville, Arkansas.  Originally the home of the Ellis Motor Company and a Packard car dealership, it is now on the National Register of Historic Places and is the home of Atlas, an upscale restaurant that serves global contemporary cuisine inspired by our son Elliot’s travels across six continents.

French Metro’s touch is apparent throughout the thoughtfully curated interior design which showcases antiques, serving pieces, and art objects from around the world including France.

Our first acquisition was a large zinc clock with a hand painted enameled face and iron hands.  Marked with the name of the maker, Henriot Le Chesne, the clock was originally inset into the exterior facade of a church around the year 1900.  A perfect find for the bar!  It must be 5 o’clock somewhere in the world—Cocktails, anyone?

The industrial feel of the Ellis Building inspired us to bring back this circa 1920 iron grain dolly complete with its original brass plaque marked Paris.  Its crank mechanism adjusts the height of a display shelf we added to showcase a Nebuchadnezzar-size bottle of champagne. 

The soaring ceiling and exposed trusses of the building called for large scale decorative pieces.  A zinc window originally in the mansard roof of a Paris apartment building now frames a mirror gazing upon the diners in the main dining room.

Speaking of scale, one of our favorite finds was an enormous bronze and silver champagne bucket.  Custom-made for a restaurant in Paris, it now holds twenty bottles for Atlas and rings like a bell when you tap it!

As our clients well know, we love copper at French Metro, and so does Chef Elliot.  The kitchen is outfitted with over thirty copper pots we brought back from France.  And a large copper and brass lantern hangs from a solid bronze bracket over the door leading to the outdoor patio.

In keeping with the brass accent color throughout the interior, the restaurant is appointed with all kinds of brass and bronze treasures.  A beautiful old bronze door handle at the front door sets the tone.  A book rest from the altar of a church now holds the iPad where the host or hostess greets you at an antique counter from a French shop.  Two brass train racks, originally used in railroad compartments, now hold coats and hats in the lounge.

Creating intimate spaces in a large restaurant is not always easy to achieve, but two very large hand forged iron partitions from the 1890’s were just what we needed.

Designing bathrooms is actually one of our favorite tasks.  Antique French chandeliers and gilt wood mirrors along with a stunning Louis XVI vanity add some glamour to the space.

Atlas The Restaurant tells the story of our world through the language of food and hospitality.  Antique trunks and maps, an armillary sphere, and objets d’art from around the world, all curated by the French Metro team, surround the diners enjoying the global cuisine inspired by Chef Elliot’s travels.

Subscribe to Atlas’s newsletter at atlastherestaurant.com/subscribe to stay in the loop about the restaurant’s events, menu changes, and restaurant specials! 


Renee Hunt
Renee Hunt

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10 Responses

Chuck Perotto
Chuck Perotto

September 18, 2020

Great food and wonderful atmosphere. Money well spent in culinary school.

Melissa Haberstroh
Melissa Haberstroh

September 18, 2020

Nice job! I love the cabinet at the hostess stand!

Jan Vogel
Jan Vogel

September 18, 2020

Have been waiting for just such a place to enjoy a nice meal with ambience. Where one can enjoy lingering over delicious food and not be just a number. Looking forward to such an event.

Deborah Knox
Deborah Knox

September 18, 2020

Love, love the interior. I have eaten taken out from Atlas. Delicious food. Cannot wait to dine in!

Belinda Troxler
Belinda Troxler

September 18, 2020

Congratulations Renee!!
You’ve done a spectacular job-Atlas looks so inviting and interesting.
I hope that you and your family are healthy and staying safe. We’re fine and hopefully, can visit Fayetteville this fall.
Warm regards,
Belinda

Frances Keeley
Frances Keeley

September 18, 2020

Everything looks fabulous! Looking so forward to being there when possible!

Rosalyn Timbie
Rosalyn Timbie

September 18, 2020

This looks fascinating. Dining here is enjoying the best parts of an overseas trip: being surrounded by beautiful artifacts, tasting delicious food and wine from around the world, leaving your passport at home, and not having to fly to experience it.

DONALD ROLLER WILSON
DONALD ROLLER WILSON

September 18, 2020

CONGRATULATIONS TO CHEF ELLIOT, ALONG WITH RENNE AND TERRY FOR CONCEIVING OF AND CREATING THIS ABSOLUTE MASTERPIECE. THERE IS NOTHING LIKE IT IN THIS NECK OF THE WOODS; MOST LIKELY ANY PARTS OF ANY WOODS – ANYWHERE!

CAN’T WAIT TILL THE RETURN OF SOME SEMBLANCE OF NORMALCY SO WE CAN ENJOY!

VERY VERY BEST TO YOU, DONALD ROLLER AND KATHLEEN WILSON

Mariesa Baker
Mariesa Baker

September 18, 2020

Have not been to French Metro in awhile but hopefully will when things get bask to normal. Our son just graduated law school there so we need to come soon to Shop can’t wait to visit atlas !! Take care!

DEBORAH ENGLE
DEBORAH ENGLE

September 18, 2020

So excited for you. Best wishes!

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