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Pizza East, London

10/18/2009

As far as good new restaurant interior design goes Nic Jones, founder of the Soho House Group does it again with his new pizza restaurant called Pizza East which is open to all and on the ground floor of the Tea building in Shoreditch. I say open to all because for those who don’t know, in the same building is Shoreditch House, which is one the most contemporary restaurant design spaces in London and which is only open to members. Therefore, the introduction of Pizza East for all the non-members who want a slice of the House styled grittiness is the perfect antidote. The site is located in the corner of the Tea building on the corner of Shoreditch High Street and Bethnal Green Road. This building lends itself perfectly to restaurant design concepts of this ilk. The site I guess can cater for 100 to 150 persons, and still with plenty of room to swing your bicycle or scooter helmet, (unfortunately cats are not allowed).

The building space already has the excellent backdrop of the tea building, which has exposed brick, concrete ceiling and columns and crittall glazed windows. However, I believe the previous tenant had concealed a lot of these finishes with either dark paint of poor lighting, I never remember the building fabric looking so rich in it’s raw state. The fabric has always been there, it just took the right operator to enhance these features. Regarding the restaurant design layout there is a long open kitchen with two wood burning pizzas ovens. A centralised dispense bar that neatly breaks up the space into different areas. There is also a large communal table I assume for when the site is over whelmed with customers. It has to be the biggest dining table in this area. The window seats have to be the best but we did find with the late autumn sun a little over bearing and our table of 6 had to recamp to the rear of the restaurant to avoid the sun.

The restaurant furniture design is very simple, with exposed wood table tops that are used through out the space. Industrial bent metal chairs with bentwood ply seats and backs. String formed lamps hang over the long 18 seater singer bracketed stools. Exposed galvanised extract ducting and polished chrome ventilation hug the surface of the concrete soffit. A diamond button back antique leather banquette sits against an exposed brickwork wall, with chipped enamel down lighters. The restaurant menus design has been kept very simple, with the layout mimicking what is going on in Shoreditch House. I expected the pizzas to be exactly the same as those in the members club upstairs. However, to my surprise the pizza arrived more rustic and earthy, the pastry being more crispy. Personally I don’t mind, I am just impressed that the group have decided to make the detail of the pizza offer different.

Overall, an excellent additional to the Shoreditch area, which we as a design team will enjoying going to in the future.

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