I love restaurants, probably because I have a bottomless pit for a stomach and I like to socialize. I also work part-time as a waitress, so I understand the importance of a functional design within the restaurant. I also understand the importance of high performance materials, because I know how beat-up things can get. Believe it or not, it is also very hard to make a profit off of a restaurant so it is just as important to come up with a strong concept that will market the restaurant and increase its profitability and chances of success. I’ve chosen a few restaurants below to briefly talk about that have strong design concepts.
Kengo Kuma and Associates
The reason why I love this so much is because it draws so much visual interest to itself. I don’t drink coffee, and I don’t even really like Starbucks that much, but just seeing that makes me want to go in there and explore. I think a big part of restaurant design is also marketing to sell, and I think this is very successful. I bet there are a lot of people that go in there and buy coffee just because it’s cool. It is also on the path of one of the most major shrines in Japan that receives nearly 2 million visitors each year. If that’s not marketing, I don’t know what is.
Saint Louis, MO
This is a restaurant in my hometown. By day it is a coffee shop/brunch type place and by night it turns into a sexy wine bar. It is an interesting concept that I haven’t seen before. It would seem challenging for me to pick materials that would be able to make that transition from local hip coffee shop by day to sexy luxurious wine bar at night. I think the designer succeeded, especially with the mosaic on the walls and the Maya Romanoff glass bead wall covering on the clouds in the ceiling. It creates a really luminous effect when the sun goes down. By being able to transition their coffee shop into a wine bar, the restaurant is able to stay open later and can attract two different types of clientele (or a mixture of the two).
The Skeleton Bar (Officially Museum Bar)
This bar/restaurant definitely has one of the most interesting concepts. I found this place when I was in Switzerland, and immediately fell in love. It’s freaky, but the design is so cool. Once again, this is one of those marketing-to-sell kinds of things. I bet people go in here because it’s so crazy different than any other restaurant they’ve ever been to. This bar is across the way from some kind of alien research museum in Gruyere, and so it is only fitting that it is an Alien Skeleton Bar.
Space Architectural Design Studio
Saint Louis, MO
This is an ice cream shop here. I haven’t actually been to this place, but I know that it exists and I would like to go there some day. I think they captured the “chill” concept very well from the beginning before you even set foot inside, with a white facade. They also further achieved this concept by going with an almost all white interior and sleek modern finishes.
I could keep listing restaurant after restaurant, but I’m going to stop here. These are a few that have been on my mind lately and have piqued my interest. What do you guys think? What if someone came to you and said ‘I want an Alien Skeleton Bar.’ Could you pull it off?