Stephen Francis Jones is becoming one of the restaurant kings of California. In the next six months he will launch eateries in West Covina, Rancho Cucamonga, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and Mendocino County. But the first of the bunch is MB Post, which recently opened in Manhattan Beach.
The rustic project had once been the home of the Manhattan Beach Post Office. That building’s bones of old concrete walls were discovered behind more recent remodels and then exposed. Jones, who lives in Manhattan Beach, brought other pieces of the town into the space, including walls constructed of mismatched planks of reclaimed barn wood, as well as planks painted to look like volleyball posts and lifeguard stands. An old 1954 bicycle reinvented as a light fixture dresses up a wall partition, while the designer also installed mailbox slots, cubby holes, and various mail-related antiques. Large sliding steel and glass doors connect the dining room to the outside, and the ceiling was opened up, revealing trusses and creating more space. Hanging trough lights seem to float and concentrate lighting on food, not peoples’ faces. “I don’t know that I could do the same thing for another city that I was not so intimately part of,” said Jones of the interior.