LOVE DIE LATE

THE WEST END, LONDON, UK        COFFEE & COCKTAILS

A nostalgic look at romance by day and night

 

Robin Ejsmond-Frey, the entrepreneur behind Love Die Late, had one guiding idea in mind when developing the concept for his new venture: transformation.  His coffee shop by day and cocktail lounge at night needed a unified perspective with features that transform to facilitate a shift in the atmosphere depending on the offer. 

 

From a selection of concept boards, Ejsmond-Frey selected Cartland, named after the British romance novelist, an irreverent take on all day romance. Love die late positions itself in between overtly kitsch and a dogged recreation of a bygone era; reminding one that the attraction to old school romance still applies in contemporary society. Communication and spatial design throughout the space offer a unique experience in central London. 

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BENITO'S HAT

KING'S CROSS, LONDON, UK        CASUAL MEXICAN DINNING

A cantina in a bustling London transportation hub 

 

Benitos' Hat was one of the first restaurants to bring the burrito to London. For their King's Cross Station location, they wanted to adapt their interiors to one more suitable for patrons on-the-go while still providing a warm and relaxing atmosphere.

 

While menu boards and decorative illustrations are simplified or reduced from the brand's street locations to create a less chaotic atmosphere, their trademark citrus colour way adds vibrancy. Combining these hues with distressed wood paneling, outdoor style furniture, and key vintage accents, yields a distinctive look that can be applied to other locations in transportation hubs. Additionally, by focusing more on the lemon hue we were able to connect the interior to the departure boards located throughout King's Cross Station.

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THE IMPERIAL DURBAR

TOOTING BEC, LONDON, UK         CAFE & BAR

Imperial India revival in London's Tooting Bec

 

The Imperial Durbar looks back over a century for inspiration in the melding of British and Indian cultures -- combining a Victorian, steampunk & eclectic aesthetic. A trading emporium with a tea shop in front became the concept that united the distinct spaces while creating individual atmospheres in each. The rooms recreate a front parlor, employee check- in station, manager's office and mess hall. 

 

Described as a “sumptuous new coffee and cocktail bar” with “opulent surroundings” by London’s Metro Newspaper; by day The Imperial Durbar specializes in high quality tea, while at night the focus turn to gin and other spirit based cocktails. The atmosphere invities locals and those further afield to sit back and relax. While there is not kitchen, a partnership with a nearby Indian restaurant provides the option for sustenance. Lanterns light up over the dining tables to let patrons know when their meals have arrived.  Other features include specialty infused gins and period board games, such as caroom, for slower nights. 

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THEOREM COFFEE BAR

COSTA MESA, CALIFORNIA, USA        COFFEE CUPPING BAR

Elevating the coffee tasting expierence to that of spirits

 

Dubbed “The El Bulli of Coffee” by Sprudge.com, the subtle nuance of coffee flavors are experimented with nearly scientific precision at Theorem. The goal was to create a jewel-box of a space, an intimate interior that draws inspiration from mid-century bars.

 

In the space, the copper and glass of the equipment employed in the various brewing methods is highlighted via dramatic lighting. Reflective brass surfaces, walnut shelving and smoke grey walls contribute to the atmosphere. The tiles used on the surface of the six-seat bar front add pattern to the small space and focus attention on the seating area while the glass walls allow the adjoining experimentation and training area to remain visible. Thus, participants at Theorem can be part of a truly unique experience and observe the creation of coffee ‘cocktails’ from their seat.

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SEVENTH TEA BAR

COSTA MESA, CALIFORNIA, USA        TEA ROOM

A modern Victorian take on tea in California 

 

This California Tea shop infuses a modern interpretation on Victorian design to create a contemporary atmosphere with a nod to the past and Hollywood Regency design. Traditional offerings and brewing methods of Seventh Tea feature in the custom designed bar area inspired by the pubs in England; however, here, tea tins replace bottles and ice tea is served on tap.

 

The bold and bright yellow, black and white color scheme is more appropriate for an open plan day time space washed in the bright Orange County, California sun than traditional Victorian color schemes. While the black and white wallpaper depicts landmarks specific to London, the marble tables are typical of bistros and tea shops across the globe.  Thus the spaces combine international cafe influences and a contemporary aesthetic to create the perfect place to enjoy a ‘cuppa’ in California. Moreover, the look and feel of Seventh tea, while distinctive from its sister offering Portola, sits nicely beside it. 

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PORTOLA COFFEE LAB

COSTA MESA, CALIFORNIA, USA        COFFEE SHOP

Barista scientists in the eco lab. 

 

Initially a wholesaler of coffee beans, Portola Coffee had a cult following of devotees who loved their various roast but no place to enjoy the premium coffee outside of their home.  When the time came to develop an interior for Portola, it was important to communicate their youthful and environmentally friendly ethos in addition to the various, nearly scientific, brewing methods that embrace precisions and experimentation simultaneously.

 

The tools of the trade, including a giant coffee roaster, are proudly displayed at the store for customers to admire. Environmentally friendly bamboo plywood clads the counters faces while bright green and metal accents contribute to the aesthetics.  The furniture references a school’s science lab while custom silk screen tables graphically marry the lab with the nature.  Finally, custom shelves allow a single product to be ‘exhibited’ with a tag line on the left while products for consumers sit to the right.

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