Wood, steel, and leather. Textures and tones of a taqueria.

Taqueria was a new concept to many who call the East Coast home. For two brothers who grew up eating their way through taquerias in California, it was a big disappointment to find the eateries didn’t exist on the opposite coast. Oliver and Leo came to NYC with their third partner, Tyler, in-tow bringing the taqueria experience to the east. Serving customers, hand-rolling burritos, deconstructing and perfecting recipes; the three did it all. From their work, Dos Toros was born.

Settlers’ Plank Reclaimed Mixed Hardwoods found new life as wall and ceiling paneling in Dos Toros in NYC.


A decade after the first Dos Toros opened, new locations continue to develop and are finding lighter and cleaner toned Modern Farmhouse wood has its own appeal.

What these friends started ten years ago has bloomed into 21 Dos Toros locations throughout NYC and Chicago. We chatted with Tyler about the balance of senses in their restaurants and how wood fits into the picture.

Pictured here are the three Dos Toros founders, Tyler, Leo, and Oliver.


If you haven’t been, we highly suggest it. As AJ demonstrates, no matter the location you’re going to find a delicious burrito and engaging servers.

Wood, steel, leather, and red were key elements in the first Dos Toros locations. Here Settlers’ Plank Hardwoods serve as paneling, benches, and cabinet doors.


“We knew how we wanted guests to feel when they walked in the doors. The experience should be memorable, satisfying the senses for flavor, sound, look, and feel. At first we incorporated traditional red walls and leather along with wood into Dos Toros. Over time we’ve evolved, gained a better understanding that lighter textures and colors and curves can allow us to create a better respite from the dense urban areas where we’re bombarded with harsh exteriors and hard lines,” Tyler explained.

Many of the Dos Toros locations feature our Settlers’ Plank mixed hardwoods, a grade that celebrates original patina, saw marks, some nail holes and other signs of the wood’s previous life. It was the texture and very natural feel that appealed to Tyler and team. “Wood is such a natural element. It’s durable and beautiful. We found it worked well along vertical surfaces even as we added in curving walls to our spaces.”

Maintaining inherent character and texture, a bit of whitewash was incorporated on our Settlers’ Plank, brightening and softening the tones of the mixed hardwoods.


The latest installation showcases a brighter, lighter, and smoother look and feel with our Modern Farmhouse Clean Hickory. Custom finished to match tables and benches within Dos Toros, Tyler said, “Hickory hits that sweet spot of durability and workability. If we need to make adjustments on site, it was easy enough to do. The smoother texture and lighter tone helps to brighten the somewhat recessed and darker urban spaces.”

Custom finished Modern Farmhouse Clean Hickory maintains the biophilic appeal of Dos Toros spaces with a lighter, modern palette.


Biophilia, connecting with natural elements in our surroundings, comes into play, says Tyler. “I’ve always been passionate about reclaimed wood and we’re all about sustainability at Dos Toros from materials to our food. We want to build locations that last. Wood allows longevity in furniture and wall applications, but it’s also something people enjoy interacting with. It is more relaxing and welcoming than plastic or metals. There is a natural sense to it; it feels like it should be in the space.”

What’s Tyler’s favorite wood species? “I worked as the fire master on a farm in Italy for a time. I collected wood from the surrounding land, from Chestnut and Strawberry trees. That combination of wood to flame to food has stuck with me. Those trees will always be special to me. If I was going to craft something for myself? Walnut and the more durable woods with grain variation…that’d be my aesthetic.”

Strawberry tree.

Walnut cabinetry, crafted by our sister company, New Energy Works for a home in Oregon.


Our thanks to Tyler for taking the time to share with us. Keep an eye out for a Dos Toros in your neighborhood!


An Interview with Oak & Apple Cidery

Christian and Christina Krapf are owners of Oak and Apple Cidery, a new Rochester, NY micro-cidery that shows off its fair share of Pioneer Millworks reclaimed wood. They partnered with Ketmar Development to build the production and tasting room in Penfield, NY. Many thanks to them for taking some time out to talk with us (amidst getting ready for their public opening on September 22nd) about the space’s design, how they chose materials, and what makes for a really good cider.


Oak & Apple Cidery in Penfield, NY. Photo by Jerome Davis


Deanna: Tell me about Oak & Apple Cidery…

Christian: 11 years ago my best friend took me to a picnic in Olean [NY] where they have this tradition of farmers bringing their homemade ciders. The ciders I had had up to that point were really sweet, candy-tasting ciders, and the cider I had at the picnic were really different. I wanted to try making cider myself–and bring my own the following year.

When I met Christina, my wife, we started making it together. We had a lot of fun doing it and improving. We thought maybe we could sell it, so we set out on this journey to Oak & Apple. Our mission is to make the best quality cider we can.

Christina: What makes us unique is we do all of the production on site—the whole process is done here right on our farm. So we grow the apples, we press the apples, we ferment on site, bottle, filter, and sell right here. So it’s really a farm to glass experience.

We farm 700 trees, and our varietals are rare apples. Not your typical old English style and French varietals…Golden Russet, Balmers…they’re more rare, very bittersweet tart apples, which are good for hard cider.

Reclaimed barn siding, Pioneer Millworks American Prairie Taphouse. Photo from Oak & Apple’s Instagram.


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Thoughtful Sophistication—Interview with Jason Francis

We’ve been talking about Thoughtful Sophistication™ a lot in our studios; what it means to us and what we hope it means to others. Of course, there’s our Thoughtful Sophistication collection—but it’s more than just the products and finishes you see.  It’s a way to move Beyond the Barn™  to see the other side of reclaimed wood, options that are sleek and modern with a soul. 

However, nothing good comes from just talking in your own bubble, so we reached out to some of our design/build friends to get their take on Thoughtful Sophistication. 

Deanna had the fantastic opportunity to speak with Jason Francis of Tiny Heirloom, builders of custom tiny homes that take a new spin by allowing homeowners to upgrade in quality while downgrading in square footage. The family-run business, based in Portland, Oregon, is made up of Jason & wife Brianna, his brother Zach & wife Hannah, and brother-in-law Tyson & wife Michelle. You might already be familiar with the team and their work from HGTV’s, Tiny Luxury.

Deanna: Jason thanks for taking time to talk with me today. Tell me about Tiny Heirloom.

Jason: Absolutely, no worries. So we design and build custom tiny homes. We have a focus on high-quality and luxury aspects of design. We’ve focused on catering to 100% custom design. A lot of places out there in tiny homes and regular home building all you to customize a set of plans or add different ideas, but starting from a blank page was harder to find. So that’s what we took and applied to the tiny home world. I work with my brother Zach, and my brother-in-law Tyson and our wives who pitch-in on design ideas and the aesthetic-side of things.

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An Insider’s Point of View


Folks that are passionate about a hobby, their profession, their home, a color, an author, a material, a movement—about anything at all—are fun to talk with. Their enthusiasm is often infectious and they always have something new (and many times unknown to others) to share. I found myself having such a conversation with Roblyn. A naturally creative and design passionate person, armed with an Interior Design degree from Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), she has helped many of our clients achieve just what they envisioned with our wood products. Her excitement about color and textures or the latest and greatest in the design world is genuine. It comes across within moments of meeting her. We found comfortable spots in our lounge to chat about what she’s seeing in the design world, what role Thoughtful Sophistication plays, and what she expects we’ll all see more of in the future:

Megan: Thanks for taking the time to chat.

Roblyn: Of course!

M: I wanted to pick your brain a bit. I know you’re into design and often take what you see and create your own experience; personalize it. And you bring that to clients. So what do you think is the next wave, the next trend in our industry?

R: I think we’ll continue to see an aesthetic where designers are taking existing spaces and materials and incorporating them into a modern environment without losing the history or value of what already existed. We’re definitely in a time where there’s a strong desire to celebrate the history—and story—of our environments while marrying them with new elements and the high tech products we want and need to live and work with.

Pioneer Millworks American Gothic Mixed Hardwoods reclaimed paneling

Pioneer Millworks American Gothic Mixed Hardwoods reclaimed paneling

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