design: Luchetti Krelle
furniture: Thonet, Family Love Tree
Photos: Michael Wee
The brief was to create an open and airy French colonial influenced restaurant come bar which pays homage to the ‘Butler Restaurant’ that occupied the site many years before. Nestled amongst the backstreets of Potts Point with a magnificent view, the opportunity existed to create a thematic oasis within a neighbourhood known for its density.
The design resolution captures a careful balance of the eclectic versus the refined, combining botanical themes with a French colonial flavour which begs the question, who was the Butler?
The street level bar has a moody exotic feel with tartan recliner armchairs, jute rugs and various shades of greenery which complement the original sandstone walls. The mezzanine is set back from the entry, allowing the volume of the site to be fully appreciated upon arrival. The rustic rough sawn timber wall panelling and use of mirror in the mezzanine allow city glimpse that are amplified and manipulate the perspective. Flooding the space with light, white stepped ceilings draw the eye towards the balcony and exterior.
The mezzanine dry bar is incorporated into the balustrade design which sees timber, white expanded mesh and brass wrap down the stairs and form the overhead brass glass storage unit over the main bar.
Walls are lined with a custom designed botanical wallpaper. The exotic design is complimented by the limited palate of light timber, brass and concrete in the space. Banquettes are custom made with a seat height of 650mm allowing diners to take full advantage of the view outside.
The dining area offers banquettes with tan leather and bentwood stools leading to a garden terrace with low and high level planter boxes running around the perimeter. Custom designed ‘park bench’ style banquettes have been teamed with rattan armchairs to create a relaxed and exotic vibe.
The subdued space is reinforced by the tree lined view of Woolloomooloo and the city – a view that is actually absent from Sydney dining. Overall the space offers a fresh and invigorating location, a refuge of comfort and tranquillity teamed with great food and drinks.