Location: 80 Bay St, Ultimo for Toby's Estate
I created a café in an empty space that is shared with Readers Digest reception, located in the majestic old Grace Bros building on Broadway, once the hub of shopping & activity located on the central tram line. The existing finishes of old floorboards, high ceilings & large bright double frontage shop windows offered a beautiful shell to base my design. I used oak, zinc, marble, linen, smoked mirror, industrial lighting & bentwood chairs to create the feeling of times gone by.
The final design is a floating coffee bar with a 2 leveled 12m long bar. The standing bar is oak paneled with a zinc lined bar top, embracing the patches & joins. This leads to a lower front take-away bar, clad in classic cream hexagon tiles & a Cerrarra marble top, married by a curved brass foot rail. Behind the bar sits cabinetry work in oak and 3 central smoked mirrors with curved tops, that are echoed in the adjacent built out banquette setting. Pigeon-holes on the cabinetry sides are available for retail display.
To create a sense of intimacy & warmth within the high ceilinged space, I created a built out banquette that is oak paneled. On the paneled wall sit glass ball wall sconces and framed sepia photographs from owner, Toby Smith’s newly released book: Coffee Trails. The street end of this cabinet acts as a retail display area. A 9m upholstered banquette lines the cabinet covered in commercial navy linen and button backed. Loose marble topped Parisian café tables sit in front with bentwood chairs.
I mixed old with new by softly restoring a large cabinet that sits pride of place on the back wall. In the front window, a large old industrial sewing table sits for communal capacity with singer-style stools, a nod to the history of the building. Two industrial-style shelving units act as retail display as part of this setting. All furniture was sourced locally for this project.
For the lighting above the bar, seven vintage pressed glass art-deco hang, brass & copper industrial wide-brimmed pendant lamps appear throughout the space and 2 oversized copper lampshades overhang the front communal table.