A redesigned Highland Park Masonic Temple serves up food and music

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Superba Food + Bread in Venice, designed by Design, Bitches

Catherine Johnson and Rebecca Rudolph run a firm that is behind the buzz-worthy restaurant designs for Superba, The Oinkster, Counterculture, Coolhaus Ice Cream Sandwiches, Burger Lords, Button Mash, as well as graphics and products and other kinds of spaces.

They studied at the experimental Southern California Institute of Architecture, or SCI-Arc, and met while working for architect Barbara Bestor. Seven years ago they founded a firm with what they call a "badass" approach to design. This month their peers at the AIA/LA will honor them with an "emerging practice" award.

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Catherine Johnson and Rebecca Rudolph at Checker Hall, a new restaurant
they are designing in the former Highland Park Masonic Temple.

Their inventive, colorful spaces are intended to make people feel welcome and comfortable and to this end they gave themselves a firm that gets people feel comfortable with architecture even as it makes some people baulk at saying the second word: Design, Bitches.

They're finishing up a redesign of the historic 1920s Italian Renaissance Revival-style Highland Park Masonic Temple, which will reopen on November 3 as the Lodge Room, a music and events venue, with an attached restaurant called Checker Hall.

We talk to them about their latest project, their desire to go even more public, and why the comma is so important to their name.