Sugar N’ Spice OTR

Experiential Graphics- Large scale (environments or systems)

Project Narrative

Sugar N’ Spice is a Cincinnati breakfast institution, established in 1941. The cheerful character and the famous Wispy Thin Pancakes make Sugar N’ Spice one of the most popular breakfast spots in town. It has persisted to this day on an unassuming stretch of Reading Road, grabbing attention with a distinctive pink and teal exterior and hyper realistic murals of oversized breakfast food surrounded by playful tiny cartoon characters.

In 2018, the owner decided to bring the brand to Over-the-Rhine, purchasing a classic 1950s diner car with a 1980s addition, which carried its own storied past. For over 20 years, the stainless steel corner diner had many identities, but eventually shuttered its doors for good. The architectural icon, rare of its kind in Cincinnati, craved a brand that could match its iconic status.

The design is a meeting of the minds: classic 50s diner elements include the embossed stainless steel panels, barstool seating, graphic lettering, angled mirrors, and checkerboard floor patterns. These elements are infused with the DNA of the Sugar N’ Spice brand including color palette, color blocked booths, and trademark rubber duck collection. Vibrant wallcoverings in the restrooms reinforce the brand with a retro twist.

As a familiar and eye-catching feature at the original Sugar N’ Spice, the murals needed to reappear in the new location. The abundant existing windows of the diner limited the wall space available for the art. The solution was to elevate the signature mouthwatering pancakes, eggs, and waffles onto a 50-foot-long ceiling mural, soon dubbed the “Sistine Chapel of Pancakes”. The whimsical characters and dripping syrup hover over contented customers below, fully transporting the beloved brand to its second home.


Project Details

Submission Category

Experiential Graphics- Large scale (environments or systems)

Date of Completion

June, 2020

Submitting Firm Name

Platte Architecture + Design

Project Team

Environmental Designer

OSRS (Often Seen Rarely Spoken) – ceiling mural


CM Squared