We were appointed to design the latest project from the Good Food Society, owners of Ristorante Frescobaldi, Yosma and Soho’s Hovarda. Caffè Cinquanta offers a nostalgic yet vibrant Italian café alongside adjoining Playa, a South American cocktail bar and music venue - both in the heart of Marylebone, on Baker Street.
We drew inspiration for Caffè Cinquanta from 1950s Italy, weaving in the bold attitude and nostalgic look and feel from this era. The space consists of a 10-seat bar, 80-cover restaurant and kitchen area, brought together by a warm colour scheme with carefully selected materials, which combine to achieve a vibrant, invigorating and modernist ambience. By creating pastel yellow painted walls and ceiling throughout we evoked the sense of the classic Italian cafes of the past, where it once was permitted to smoke indoors.
Through designing with rich timber tones and atmospheric lighting in the bar, we created a space that is versatile to the needs of the day: whether enjoying a coffee and newspaper first thing in the morning or aperitivo in the afternoon, to indulging in a dry Martini on a Friday night. Here we added a lounge seating section to the floor plan, which includes retro-styled velvet sofas, making it an easy place to relax from morning through to the evening.
We brought our mustard leather banquettes, warm antique oak, ribbed timber wall cladding, smoked mirrors, and the pre-existing crackle glaze metro tiling and terrazzo flooring in the dining area to life with vibrant artwork. These includ modernist museum posters from exhibitions around Europe, as well as a mix of retro wall-mounted light fixtures and luxe pendants, and vintage mid-Century armchairs and furniture such as the waiter stations and coffee tables.
We designed colourful textured glass bricks to smoothly divide the dining area from the kitchen. These bricks form the backdrop of the restaurant, allowing a playful glimpse of behind-the-scenes activity taking place by the chefs, whilst still enclosing the kitchen. A chalkboard menu revealing the daily specials sits above the glazing, and tables in the dining area boast new laminated table-tops with brass metal edges.
We also had the pleasure of redesigned Caffè Cinquanta’s exterior and delivered the branding for this project