Leading interior design firm Design Clarity helped sculpt a unique piece of Havana, Cuba in a double-story heritage listing building on Sydney’s York Street to launch La Bodeguita Del Medio. This famous 1950s bar and restaurant is heralded as the ‘home of the mojito’ after Ernest Hemmingway famously wrote ‘My mojito in La Bodeguita’ on the walls of this now world-renowned establishment.
Design Clarity have recreated the vibrant heydays of Central America through an innovative interior fit-out of the 650sq m bar, restaurant and event space that creates a sophisticated, cosmopolitan atmosphere whilst adhering to the old-world traditions that La Bodeguita Del Medio is famed for.
For two years, Kristina Hetherington, Director, Design Clarity considered many diverse elements to ensure the history, the brand and the modern context blended seamlessly to create an exciting addition to the food and beverage landscape of the city.
“We extensively researched the Cuban elements and balanced it out with design that also captures the essence of Sydney. We wanted to ensure that patrons felt the magic of the era but not out-of-place in the bar and restaurant.
“Having the freedom to interpret the famous Cuban theme allowed us to incorporate exquisite and custom-designed elements into all aspects of the interior such as the writing on the walls, the use of azure on the ceiling, right through to the chesterfield finishes on the booths,” said Hetherington.
Andy Lee, Project Manager, La Bodeguita Del Medio was thrilled with the attention to detail demonstrated throughout the project.
“From applications for council approval through to the communication with contractors, the Design Clarity team understood the potentials of the space and brought the idea to life. All facets of the design process were meticulously looked after by the team.
“Design Clarity also worked with textures of existing finishes to find the right balance. The results speak for themselves; on a Friday night we serve over 1500 mojitos which proves to us that this is a successful concept at play,” said Lee.
The brief was to ensure the old-world sophistication of the 1950s was accessible to the Sydney market. Design Clarity responded by creating two very different levels that each focus on specific elements of the 1950s Cuban culture. The upper level has an exposed timber panelled ceiling with suspended antique ceiling fans, raw brick archways, a personalised rum locker, spectacular rum barrel display, and even an external luxury cigar lounge.
“Our customers tell us that their favourite features are the grand entrance and the barrel wall with exposed heritage brickwork. We actually see people walking around the establishment pointing at elements and enjoying the space,” said Lee.
The basement level is more intimate and includes a live music stage and features rich, dark-stained traditional timber furniture which creates a solid, aged quality. The lighting throughout is moody and the walls are adorned with hand scrawled thoughts of patrons, plus some fabulous hand painted murals.
“Our dedicated team used their years of experience and creative skills to design and manage this very exciting and unique project. The Cuban spirit of passion and excitement is visible right throughout the intricate design. This project shows how international concepts translated appropriately for the local scene can be very successful,” said Hetherington.
The venue is available for corporate events and is full of ready-made style and encompasses a world of theming for corporate events that is creative and exciting.
The surrounding walls are also interactive letting you name the walls with your company information.
This is the first time this theme and style has specifically come to Sydney so for entertaining clients the sights and feel of the venue really add a creative spirit.