Woodies Cafe

Located on the sunny Santa Cruz wharf, Woodies Café attracts visitors from across the country. The café's owner came to I-5 looking for an updated design that would capture the essence of the classic wood-paneled cars that inspired the restaurant's name — a design that would impart a sense of destination while preserving a fun, family-friendly atmosphere.


Location: Santa Cruz, California
Duration: 2 Weeks
Project Size: 1,000 sf
Services: Interior & Exterior Design

Our Approach


Given the setting, and the built-in theme of vintage woodie automobiles, I-5 created a unique restaurant concept that celebrated the surfing spirit and the classic beach wagons made popular by surf culture. 

A custom arched façade at the café’s exterior entrance, supported by new wood pilings (reminiscent of the posts supporting the pier) with large rock bases. Posts are wrapped with thick nautical rope at their bases and showcase mounted, hand-formed wooden surfboards.


Inside, the design plan features a wood-beamed ceiling with suspended surfboards, and a thatched roof over the order counter, creating a classic beach ambiance. Wood ceiling beams reflect the various types of wood panels used on classic woodie autos. Life-sized wall murals of ocean imagery, surfers, and classic cars open up the sense of space. A variety of iconic elements and images of the vintage surf era produce a truly unique environment.

Transform your location