Restaurateur Michael Krupp waxes rhapsodic about flannel, Sherlock Holmes, and the joys of fall.
Michael Krupp hand-saws cords of maple wood to be stacked neatly into a bin at Area Four, his “coffee/bakery/bar/oven” establishment in Cambridge. The bespoke timber will later be used in the restaurant’s wood-burning oven, which turns out menu items such as croissant-topped mac ’n’ cheese and Wellfleet clam and bacon pizza. But it also reflects Krupp’s appreciation for all things rustic.
“My whole aesthetic is, as much as possible, to keep autumn going year round,” says 33-year-old Krupp, who’s wearing a fashionable mix of flannel plaids and heathered wool. And he’s not shy about his “weird for a Jewish kid from the suburbs” obsessions — target-shooting, chopping wood. “I’m lucky I have all my fingertips,” he jokes.
Mirroring its proprietor, Area Four boasts salvage-chic accents—beer-growler lights above the bar, a barn door as a room divider, and tables rescued from Krupp’s previous venture with chef Michael Leviton, Persephone.
Krupp has worn many hats — music-video producer, commercial appraiser, acquisitions analyst — and it’s clear his peregrine ways have informed Area Four’s eclectic vibe. “We’re one of very few places where everyone can feel comfortable,” he says.
Below, see what inspires Krupp’s urban woodsman style.
1. The Great Outdoors
“I’ve never been in the military, but I hang out in the woods a lot,” says Krupp, who refers to Disruptive Pattern Material: An Encyclopedia of Camouflage as “my bible.” The forest also reminds him of his recent wedding to New Brahim blogger Liana Peterson.
2. Salvage Yards
“Take what’s old and take it into modern times,” says Krupp, who’s a regular at New England Demolition and Salvage in New Bedford; Silver Fox Salvage in Albany, New York; and Aunt Katie’s Attic in Schenectady, New York.
3. Sherlock Holmes
A detective-fiction class in college sparked Krupp’s “minor obsession with all things Sherlockian.” His tastes tend more toward the darker Jeremy Brett interpretation of the character than the action-driven Robert Downey Jr. version.
4. Early Hip-Hop Music
Krupp started listening to rap music in the mid-’80s. “As I got older and less interested in new music, I started digging for the samples,” he says.
5. Origami Cranes
“I don’t know why or when I started, but over the course of my life I have folded thousands upon thousands of them,” Krupp says of the paper birds.
6. Analog Technology
“I’d rather listen to a record, wear hand-sewn clothes with a natural feel, or play with a puzzle that someone made,” he says. “While the digital age has certainly simplified life, it has also made it less personal.” Suffice it to say, Krupp eschews Facebook and Twitter.
“There is no greater metaphor for me than fall in western Massachusetts,” says Krupp. At its essence, it’s white birch trees, flannel shirts, dirty jeans, and the smell of burning wood.
8. Guinness and Jameson
“All ideas, good or bad, have to start somewhere. Mine typically do with a pint of stout and a Jamey
9. His Folks
Krupp can barely find words for how influential and inspiring his parents, George and Liz Krupp, have been throughout his life. “Most. Ridiculous. People. Ever,” he musters. “I learned everything from them.”