The Flying Squirrel is a bar and restaurant located next door to The Crash Pad. (Photo: Staff)

Chattanooga bar and restaurant The Flying Squirrel, which local architect Thomas Palmer designed, won the People’s Choice Award at the national AIA Design Awards contest.

Palmer is now a partner at Cogent Studio. Palmer Built Environments and Cogent Studio recently merged under the Cogent name. Click here for more. 

“I think most architects, designers or makers who love their craft would be proud that their work has gathered the attention of the design community at the national level,” Palmer said via email. 

The local establishment was also selected as a finalist in the design awards, which were presented at the Dwell on Design conference in Los Angeles at the end of May. 

Palmer said that he and the co-owners of The Flying Squirrel are inspired by the Chattanooga spirit.

“We all know how great this city is and that we enjoy a quality of life that is enhanced by the spirit of creativity, entrepreneurism and pride that our friends and neighbors wear on their sleeves every day,” he said. 

Palmer also said that the experience of going to Los Angeles for the conference was a great one.

“In fact, one of the last comments from the judges was this project ‘makes me want to visit Chattanooga,'” Palmer said. 

The Flying Squirrel co-owner Max Poppel said he was excited to see the city get behind his business. 

“We’re just psyched to show once again that Chattanooga can rally behind a cause better than anywhere else, including places 20 times our population,” he said via email. “We greatly appreciate everyone who took the time to vote for us for this award and want to say thank you.”

Updated @ 10:24 a.m. on 6/2/15.