Block 16

Comfort Meets Fresh

Block 16 is a farm-to-table restaurant owned by husband-and-wife team Jessica and Paul Urban. They opened their doors for business in 2010, and business has been growing steadily ever since. Grain & Mortar partnered with Block 16 to update their logo and website as they prepared to expand their business.


The food Block 16 serves — fast-casual meets high cuisine — is a direct reflection of who they are and what they value. It was clear that the Urbans, their ingredients, and their creative daily offerings had to be front and center. Our strategy was formed based on interviews, a review of their menu, logging many, many hours in Block 16 to sample food (we are always willing to go the extra mile for our clients) and gain an understanding of the dining experience, and a survey of their competitors.

Smoothing out the Rough Edges

We modified the existing Block 16 logo to make it more readable from a distance. We also added an extra ornamental line and took down the “distress” element to refine the logo.

A Moveable Feast

We brought the Block 16 brand alive online by designing a responsive, mobile-friendly site. Everything from the menu to the hours of operation are easy to access on any device.

A Little Sizzle Goes a Long Way

Block 16 is known for their high-flavor dishes. One of our biggest challenges was how to convey this without the benefit of all the senses. We art directed photo shoots to make menu items from Dragon Fries to Croque Garcon Burgers look as delicious online as they are in person. Scenes of hands dipping crispy fries into ketchup, a tight shot of a burger sizzling on a grill, and beautiful photos of fresh ingredients all bring the mouth-watering Block 16 experience to the forefront.

One of a Kind

We created custom illustrations based on 100-year-old images of farm-fresh ingredients.

Developing a Better Experience

Beyond marketing, a website also provides a smart way to automate daily tasks. In addition to making Block 16’s standard information such as location and contact information easy to find, we developed special site functionality to automate (and remove the daily hassle associated with) questions about their hours and their daily specials.

Original Solution

Block 16 is well known by their fans for their inventive daily specials (not a single repeat in more than 1,400 specials). The owners post the special every day on Facebook and didn’t want the additional task of posting to their new website. To resolve that, we developed an aggregating functionality. The first time a visitor lands on the Block 16 home page in a 24-hour period, the site pulls the most recent post using specific key phrases from Facebook, using their API. The copy and image from that post are then displayed on the Block 16 site.

Logic to the Rescue

Block 16 has had the same hours since 2010, but they are consistently asked, “Are you open for dinner tonight?” To reduce that headache, we developed a logic loop that automatically displays the restaurant’s open or closed status based on the time of day. We partnered that with helpful messaging (“Open at 11:00 today.”) to quickly clarify when the restaurant would open next during off hours.