Pizza East, London. www.pizzaeast.com/portobello
With such prestigious clients as the Searcys and Caprice groups, the Interbar agency is the British benchmark for very high-end wine bar and restaurant design. Yet even on projects as extravagant as Sexy Fish, the Caprice group’s latest creation that opened in Mayfair last October, Billy Pither admits that he has to handle modernity with the greatest care.
“In London, where we do most of our work, our clients like to retain a touch of tradition. The benchmark style for wine bars is still ‘French brasserie’.We reflect the basic characteristics by using raw materials: wood, glass and metal, rather than elements that are too manufactured. And we often have them made by French craftsmen.”
Does innovation mix well with wine? “It’s particularly hard to reinvent something that’s been done for 30 years, especially if it’s been done well! But we have room for manoeuvre in the use of technology, which is becoming increasingly effective in improving wine storage and service. The idea is to blend aesthetics on the outside with technological expertise inside. So, we will build a traditional bar counter from classic materials, with stainless steel cupboards and high-performance wine cabinets that control humidity and temperature.”
The agency installed four EuroCave wine cabinets for Sexy Fish, with glazed sides to display the wine bottles stored inside. “In this particular case, the wine cabinets are an integral part of the decor. It’s aesthetically pleasing for the restaurant’s clients to see the bottles behind the smoked-glass doors, and they can tell that the wines served to them are kept in ideal conditions.”
Sexy Fish, London. www.sexyfish.com
Smith & Wollensky, London. www.smithandwollensky.co.uk
Sophie’s Steakhouse & Bar, London. www.sophiessteakhouse.co.uk
The Ivy Market Grill, London.
by Anne Serres