Thompson 105 Case Study

The Great Indoors
Thompson 105, Scottsdale, Arizona

A McDowell mountain neighborhood restaurant relies on biophilic design principles to create a nature-centered dining experience surrounded by a beautiful mountain backdrop.  

The McDowell Mountains, which rest along the outer edges of Scottsdale, AZ, create a colorful natural border that offers locals a stunning panorama that can be seen from virtually any vantage point around the city. Sprinkled with lively saguaro cacti, this iconic mountain is a ubiquitous feature of the landscape, making it the perfect inspiration for a new local eatery and an ideal setting for the natural look of New Leaf™ Performance Veneers.

Thompson 105, a new indoor/outdoor restaurant that opened in Scottsdale in 2021, began with the guiding philosophy that food tastes better outside, surrounded by nature. It was this philosophy that guided the project’s development, pushing designers and contractors to unify every detail to create the owner’s vision for a space that would transform casual family dining into an “incredibly rich, lived experience.”


According to Zebra, the project’s London-based interior design firm, which has offices in Phoenix, connecting restaurant guests to the grandeur of the surrounding mountain scenery played a major part in focusing design decisions and creating a seamless indoor/outdoor experience. Plentiful windows and a large open patio were some of many features of the restaurant that helped to merge inside and outside, but the main dining spaces weren’t the only areas that had to work to create the inviting, outdoorsy feel. Other spaces also had to live up to the same experiential standards, including the guest restrooms.

Applying Thompson 105’s indoor/outdoor philosophy, Zebra selected the warm wood grain finish of Plain Sawn Teak New Leaf Performance Veneers in Natural stain and Matte finish to complement the palette of the 1,000-square-foot interior restroom spaces. For this part of the project, both the natural beauty and the rugged durability of New Leaf are key to satisfying both form and function.

“Most of the finishes in the design palette needed to be durable, cleanable and able to perform in the high-traffic, high-touch environments of a busy restaurant, and that includes the restrooms,” says Gabryle Brody, former lead designer at the time of the Thompson 105 project. “The overall concept was to create a warm and inhibiting neighborhood restaurant with a high-end, classic feel,” added Brody. “New Leaf was selected because it could deliver a built-in wood look in the restrooms, and it could also stand up to daily cleaning and the general wear and tear of this high-use area.”

To carry the nature-inspired look of the dining spaces into the restroom area, Zebra used New Leaf Performance Veneers to construct wall panels between the restroom stalls and framed each panel with a traditional wood border. Further enhancing the natural aesthetic, the Natural stain of the New Leaf Plain Sawn Teak is complemented by dark gray floor tile and wall tile that features pale gray veining, evoking the feel of stone. The dark gray tones are also carried into hooks, soap dispensers, and other accent pieces, and cool gray sinks complete the earthy palette. 
Bringing the interior design project together required the coordination of General Contractor Tarik Khoury of FKF Floorworks in Phoenix. FKF Floorworks serves clients in Nevada, Arizona and California and creates engaging, inspiring spaces in a variety of commercial contexts, including hospitality, health care and sports arenas. To fabricate and install the New Leaf Performance Veneers, Khoury called on the custom milling services of Phoenix-based contractor Peterman Lumber and the installation expertise of Glendale-based contractor Styles Brothers Custom Millwork. Styles Brothers specializes in commercial millwork for projects that include restaurants, fitness centers and hospitals and has a reputation for high-quality finished results. 
“Fabrication was super easy, and Peterman was able to get it done quickly,” says Khoury. “Styles Brothers installation was fast and efficient, and the New Leaf product looked beautiful.  The owner was very happy.”

Brody agrees. “The client was very happy with the look of the restrooms,” she says. “It turned out amazing.”


New Leaf Performance Veneers are uniquely suited for restaurant environments because they allow architects and interior designers to choose from a variety of attractive species, stains and finishes, while adding a level of durability that outperforms natural wood products in high-traffic, high-demand environments.
From a design perspective, New Leaf delivers a consistent appearance from sheet to sheet and order to order without the unpredictable variations or product waste present with traditional veneers. Designers can count on New Leaf to be readily available, look exactly as expected and come together in predictable design patterns that make installation faster and easier. The product’s consistency is also a benefit to restaurant owners and maintenance personnel, as New Leaf Veneers purchased for expansion or retrofit projects years later will still match the original installation.

Another feature making New Leaf an increasingly popular material in restaurants is that it is easy to clean and disinfect without impacting the finish. This has become particularly important in the post-COVID-19 restaurant environment, where intense daily cleaning is now the norm. In tests performed by Wilsonart R&D, lab technicians applied a variety of disinfecting agents to various New Leaf finishes. These disinfectants included hypochlorite-based disinfectants and accelerated hydrogen peroxide-based disinfectants that are commonly used in health care settings. After testing New Leaf finishes with 16-hour exposures and rinsing with water, the veneers showed little or no effect on the finish.

Lastly, the overall durability and resistance to daily wear and tear provided by New Leaf Performance Veneers makes this product well-suited for busy, active, high-traffic restaurant environments. Each sheet delivers exceptional scratch and crack resistance, as well as impact resistance that is 14 times stronger than standard veneers. Veneers are also water resistant and UV fade resistant, making them a popular design material for restaurants that feature many windows or those located in climates with extreme temperature ranges.


As more and more restaurants like Thompson 105 are being constructed, owners, architects and interior designers are demanding greater performance from the materials they choose. It’s no longer enough to simply look good. Materials also need to offer long-lasting performance with ability to withstand rigorous cleaning regimens. Combining both aesthetics and performance, New Leaf has proven to be an ideal design solution that is sure to be featured in many interior design palettes to come."

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