Diane Buchwalder

Louis' French Quarternote Jazz Club & Dive-In

Themed entertainment, 2013

The assignment for this project was to take an existing intellectual property and develop a quick service restaurant. It was required to serve approximately 50 people, have outdoor seating, and have a target theme park and area to be placed in.

I chose to develop a restaurant around the Disney movie "The Princess and the Frog", and to place it where the French Market restaurant currently sits in Disneyland. These are the boards I developed to demonstrate concepts, menu, decor and props, lighting, and some gags. Click on each image to be taken to a larger size.

Site board

The site - The restaurant's location within Disneyland and a view of the approach.


Restaurant board

The restaurant - Facade, exterior lighting example, signage example, and story concept.

In the movie, Louis, a trumpet-playing gator, wants to become human and become a great musician, while the two main characters are humans stuck as frogs trying to regain their original lives. In a twist on their situations, Louis has decided to open a cajun restaurant and jazz club and bring his two favorite human things to the animals of the bayou.


Interior board

The interior - Concept, menu items, lighting example, and cast uniforms.

Inside the restaurant it is apparent that Louis has transformed a broken down boathouse into a fantastic escape. The menu lists such New Orleans-inspired options as po-boys, muffaletta, and beignets (while frog legs are most definitely off the menu). Guests also discover that some humans have always wanted to be bayou animals and have happily taken up jobs in Louis' restaurant! An animatronic of Louis practices some licks from the rafters and interacts with guests as they wait to order their food.


Seating board

The seating - Stage concept, furnishings, and gags.

The outdoor seating area is shaded by the surrounding swampland's cypress trees and plenty of hanging Spanish moss. Fireflies, like Ray, float and glow in the area, reminiscent of strings of party lights. Since Louis has been recovering human pieces for his restaurant, his search for furnishings has turned up items such as tin plates, old reels for tables, and a mismatched collection of chairs. As guests enjoy their meals, Louis' musician friends entertain the guests with plenty of New Orleans jazz. Animals (animatronic) in the swamp show up to join in-- including this spoonbill trying his best to play the spoons.


Materials board

Materials and plan - Architectural floor plan and decorative details

The floor plan for the restaurant sits 48 people within appropriate restrictions. The restaurant interior is 1200 square feet, with a seating area of 1600 square feet and a stage of 240 square feet. Material finishes and props range from warm and polished to old and used-- whatever Louis could find to build his dream. Fake cypresses and moss provide a cool space for guests to rest and enjoy their meal.

I later developed this concept into a painted model as well. In my first departure from architectural white models, I used foamcore, clay, modeling water, paint, and other assorted textural elements to simulate the scene.