B3 Designers / Levi’s Caribbean Smokehouse
“We worked with clients Levi Roots and Real Restaurants to create this overall brand. Both had a very clear vision of what they wanted to achieve with the brand and interior identity. We worked closely with them to create a restaurant which could sit on the high street as a standalone restaurant and open new sites as a group collection.
Bringing Levi into the space
This space and the graphic identity is a very close resemblance of Levi. In order for us to get this right we needed to ensure we communicate Levi’s vision and personality into the space.
Levi’s favourite things
We collected items from Levi which he generously offered to us for incorporation. We hung his guitar, the very same one as in dragon’ den, curated music from his personal collection and even displayed the only surviving photograph of him as a child. We took inspiration from Levi’s Grandmother’s front room to create a vintage, bric ‘n brac display and at home feel as you enter the restaurant.
Authenticity and understanding
We worked with Levi to ensure that the design was authentic to what a Caribbean Smokehouse in East London should look and feel like. Levi’s is not only a Caribbean offer, it serves a predominantly London based audience and needs to speak to them. Levi was keen to take elements of Brixton and London life and weave them into the concept.
Architectural elements within the space
As the site itself had such a high ceiling height, we were able to put in a mezzanine level and create zones within the space with additional structures within the space.
We designed a structure with inspiration from the huts of the Caribbean. The dining hut has louvers panels that fits within a timber framework, these louvers will remain open most of the time and will come down when the space is booked for a larger group. This gives people more privacy and the operations team more flexibility.
The pit where the meat is cooked on a wood burning grill, we wanted to make a focal point feature which is why we chose to make a standalone feature. Materials include a corrugated tin roof and timber frame, cladding on the front is from an old shipping container we sourced and had the contractor disassemble and clad to the front of the pit.
On entry to the space, diners are met with what looks like a raised banquette seating area. This space is really a performance stage, which Levi was really keen on. When designing this flexible space we needed to ensure the seating would be moveable while being a feature when the space is in use as seating. Levi played at the restaurant on grand opening night and will most likely use the stage often to perform along with other artists of his choice.
Lighting quite a challenge because the high ceiling height, the result is quite theatrical, with LED spotlights with ‘barn doors’ to connect a subtle stage/performance influence. “
Photos courtesy of B3 Designers.