Saturday, June 18, 2011

A café formula with a quirk - hospitality design

Café Ritrovo – Italian for ‘meeting place’, has been a raving commercial success and met the client’s simple brief; to create an environment to relax, unwind and catch-up. Ritrovo’s owner (and Ex-Coffee Club franchisee) knew the basic operational model to make the business work, and wanted to create a ‘fresh & friendly’ look for his latest venture so appointed Design Clarity to develop the brand identity as well as the interiors. The café is 89sqm with an additional 26sqm of exterior seating extending into the mall, enticing passing shoppers.

The colour scheme is predominately black and white, warmed with timber and accents of orange in the furniture and 3D text positioned on the staggered timber wall cladding throughout the space.

The ornamental plywood fretwork screens the exterior seating clusters, framing the space. This decorative patterning is juxtaposed with the bold black and white diagonally striped floor, which provides a dramatic platform for the service counter displays.

There’s a library book joinery wall for customers to access while waiting for their coffee and a casual ambience with mixed seating types and pram-friendly circulation encouraging get-togethers, conversation and relaxation.

Feature pendant lighting suspended through the laser cut plywood panels break up the volume of space and create a more personal atmosphere. Chalkboard menus, retro-framed pictures, babushka dolls, potted plants all add that ‘home-away-from-home’ quality and a colourful quirk to the design – but it’s the great coffee and personal service that keeps them coming back.

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