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Aha! Hack: A Simple Under-Counter Shelf for Most Frequently Used Dishes

Interior of Cervo's NYC, Photo by Erin Little for Remodelista

We’ve written before about Cervo’s, a tiny Portuguese wine bar and restaurant on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and shared the many design ideas to steal from the retro-chic space, from replacing molding with mirrors to embracing an avocado-green palette. (See all 15 ideas in Design Ideas to Steal from a Tiny Portuguese Wine Bar, over on Remodelista.)

But the space—where Portuguese-inspired small plates are all prepared right behind the bar, in the restaurant’s only tiny but efficient kitchen—has storage lessons to impart, too. Our favorite is the most simple: a small under-counter shelf that makes use of a dead space and keeps the most-reached-for dishes at the ready (no digging in cabinets while table 10 is waiting for their garlicky cockles with vinho verde).

Make like a trendy, fast-paced NYC restaurant and stash your everyday-ware under the counter—Portuguese ceramic dishes optional.

Photography by Erin Little for Remodelista.

Interior of Cervo's NYC, Photo by Erin Little for Remodelista
Above: The long, narrow front room has a zinc-clad bar with green-painted wood beneath. In addition to the pouring of Portuguese wines, all cooking takes place in the small but efficient kitchen behind the bar.
Interior of Cervo's NYC, Photo by Erin Little for Remodelista
Above: To make service easier, the restaurateurs fitted a simple metal shelf beneath the bar top, where servers exit the kitchen to bring dishes to waiting tables. Here, it stores the restaurant’s go-to ceramics: stacks of simple, all-purpose white plates and terracotta dishes called cazuelas from Spain, imported from Despaña.

Regency Metal Microwave Shelf from Webstaurant Store
Above: For a similar idea at home, source a metal shelf from a restaurant supply store and mount it beneath the kitchen counter or island in an easy-to-access spot for serving, entertaining, and setting the table. We like the idea of a microwave shelf, like this Regency Stainless Steel Microwave Shelf ($45.99 for the 18-by-24-inch size): It can be mounted to the area under the bar or counter, has edges for keeping dishes in place, and is sturdy enough to hold plenty of dishes.
See more of our favorite restaurant supply finds at The Cull: 10 Affordable Storage Products from a Restaurant Supply Store.

And for more Aha! Hacks, see:

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