ZoCo Design's new office occupies former Brazenhead pub

Jess Deyo
Columbus CEO
The Zoco Design offices photographed on Friday, August 20, 2021.

For ZoCo Design founder and CEO Lacey Picazo, her design studio’s newest office space is the perfect spot to showcase its bright, funky aesthetic, but its biggest quirk may be occupying the space that was once Grandview’s Brazenhead pub.

ZoCo Design was launched by Picazo in 2013 and specializes in designing software apps, websites, web apps and more. For her, the new office is representative of how the company has come full circle, with its first home across the street on Holly Avenue, where she recalls taking a half bathroom as her office with her desk on the sink.

The Zoco Design offices photographed on Friday, August 20, 2021.

She grew to 10 employees while at her first location and moved above Stauf’s in German Village, but with limited freedom to renovate and a growing team, Picazo started brainstorming a new gig in February 2020, and the former Brazenhead pub just felt right. Renovations on the space began in fall of 2020 and the team was able to start utilizing it this March.

The Zoco Design offices photographed on Friday, August 20, 2021.

“We have some history from being across the street for years,” Picazo says. “And so we're enamored by [the new office] and something about the space struck me as it could be a really cool creative studio, even though it used to be very visually different.”

Visually different is correct—the walls were painted to look antique, cherry wood was throughout, booths were tucked in nooks around various corners, trinkets were widespread and the windows were covered by wood shutters. 

The space had a long journey to becoming ZoCo Design, but anyone who knew Brazenhead would be able to spot a few major similarities in the space. For instance, across all three floors of the office still stand the original bars, which Picazo painted a brighter shade. She had help from A Carpenter's Son and Edge Work Creative with replacing the bar tops with bright wood.

The Zoco Design offices photographed on Friday, August 20, 2021.

A few of the original booths are still there, too, and Picazo only had to upholster one. The entire lower level of the office is still pretty similar to how Brazenhead left it, intentionally, which she hopes to utilize for event space. There’s character in what once was, she says, and she wanted to work off of that instead of undergoing a totally new build. 

“We have a lot of funny quirks in the building, some of which we've chosen to leave intentionally because we like some of the history and others that are just too hard to remove. “

Some of the key aspects of the office include a large, open workspace in what used to be a dining room—a request from the ZoCo team, who had opportunities to share what they needed from the space. The former kitchen became a conference room, and the main entrance’s bar is utilized as a space to eat lunch or meet with clients. Most notably may be the surplus of natural light that pours in from every direction.

The Zoco Design offices photographed on Friday, August 20, 2021.
The Zoco Design offices photographed on Friday, August 20, 2021.
The Zoco Design offices photographed on Friday, August 20, 2021.

The third floor has also been freshly painted and matches ZoCo’s energy, and offers a walk-out patio where her 18 team members look forward to gathering. For the most part, team members' needs were met, but there’s one thing Picazo hasn’t gotten to yet: A life size, giant statue of the company dog, Roscoe. For now, the team can enjoy Roscoe’s portrait, which sits on the mantle of the second-floor fireplace. 

The Zoco Design offices photographed on Friday, August 20, 2021.
The Zoco Design offices photographed on Friday, August 20, 2021.

Picazo believes that in a COVID-19 world, the office space offers plenty of space to still get the at-home feeling that team members have grown to love, and while the team isn’t back at full capacity most days, she’s thrilled to see everyone enjoying the space.

jdeyo@dispatch.com

@DeyoJessica