coco kelley, interior design, lifestyle

Tinello Seattle :: Help Us Build The Next Chapter

This is a post about design. It’s also a post about family. About hopes. And about helping others. Specifically you, my dear readers, potentially choosing to help my family today… so indulge me for a minute while I tell you a little story about a restaurant named Tinello.

tinello seattle design by cassandra lavalle and b9 architects_1

Over a year ago, we found the perfect spot for my dad to open his new restaurant. I was thrilled with the location – Pioneer Square – because it’s a beautiful, historical neighborhood in Seattle that is currently going through a revitalization that is much needed. The energy down there is amazing – our offices as well as my new loft are also in this neighborhood. Needless to say, I’m smitten.

tinello seattle design by cassandra lavalle and b9 architects_2

So, anyways, the spot was found. The lease was signed. The design began. And then… a few things happened. My dad’s business partner turned out to be a not-so-great business partner, and we had to buy him out. (That is a whole other story in itself.) We managed to find private investor (my hero!) to help us manage this burden a bit, and opened the restaurant to the public in May.

tinello seattle design by cassandra lavalle and b9 architects_3


My dad had asked me to help with the design, so together with b9 architects, I helped select the materials and source some of my favorite items, my favorite of which are the lighting fixtures that were generously provided by Barn Light Electric.


Their quality and the craftsmanship is above and beyond. Plus, I loved their selection of colors. I used the more vintage blue as a nod to the nautical roots of the neighborhood, and we did a mix of old and new materials. The result was a clean, inviting space perfect for lunch and dinner – and ready to be built upon for years to come.

tinello seattle design by cassandra lavalle and b9 architects_6

tinello seattle design by cassandra lavalle and b9 architects_4

Our launch went well, and things were slowly coming along and growing again when a few months later, we received a letter from an Il Tinello in NYC that delivered a cease and desist on using a name so similar to the one that they had trademarked. If you’re in the restaurant business you know how ridiculous this is, but having no money to fight them in court, we are now having to change the name and totally rebrand. Which, of course, costs money.

On top of this, we have been wanting to finish off the bar area (there are updates that need to me made in order for us to get our liquor license), add a Seattle-worthy espresso machine, and built out a small front patio for summer dining.

tinello seattle design by cassandra lavalle and b9 architects_8

tinello seattle design by cassandra lavalle and b9 architects_5

Restaurants take years to really start make money. Tomorrow my dad turns 67. In a few more years, he should be taking a back seat at the restaurant. He has been in this industry his whole life, and we know we have what it takes to make this place a success. So, we did what we needed to do in order to finance these goals and dreams. We started a Kickstarter campaign!

Our hope is to raise at least 15k in 30 days. We’ve already been up and running for one week and have raised 10k! You guys, we are almost there. Heck, with your help, we could finish this campaign off today! I have over twenty thousand readers. If only half of you donated a small amount, we’d still get beyond our goal. Every little bit counts – and gives us so much in return.  A gift at any level is appreciated, as are tweets and facebook posts to help us spread the word!

I rarely, if ever, ask my readers for much, and this would mean the world not only to me but to my family. This restaurant is my parent’s retirement plan. Without its success, there will be many more years of struggle to come. This Kickstarter campaign – small as it is – will be enough to get us to the next level with the restaurant so that we can ensure we are doing everything we can to make it a successful part of the vibrant Pioneer Square neighborhood and the ever-growing Seattle food scene.

the lavalle famiglia

This photo was taking at the closing day of my dad’s last restaurant. Since then we’ve faced a lot of challenges, but are looking forward for this restaurant to be another staple in the Seattle community! Your support means the world to me, and my family. So, from all of us – thank you for whatever you can do.

// photography by belathée