London-based hospitality interior design and branding specialist B3 Designers was appointed to design the latest project from the Good Food Society, owners of Ristorante Frescobaldi, Yosma and Soho’s Hovarda. The newly opened Caffè Cinquanta offers a nostalgic yet vibrant Italian café alongside adjoining Playa, a South American cocktail bar and music venue - both in the heart of Marylebone, on Baker Street.
B3 Designers drew inspiration for Caffè Cinquanta from 1950s Italy, weaving in the bold attitude and nostalgic look and feel from this era. The space consists of a 10-seat bar, 80-cover restaurant and kitchen area, all working within a warm colour scheme with carefully selected materials that combine to achieve a vibrant, invigorating and modernist ambience. The pastel yellow painted walls and ceiling throughout evoke the sense of the classic Italian cafes of the past, where it once was permitted to smoke indoors.
Rich timber tones and atmospheric lighting in the bar work to create a space that is versatile to the needs of the day: whether enjoying a coffee and newspaper first thing in the morning or aperitivo in the afternoon, to indulging in a dry Martini on a Friday night. B3 Designers has added a lounge seating section to the floor plan here which includes retro-styled velvet sofas, making it an easy place to relax from morning through to the evening.
Mustard leather banquettes, warm antique oak, ribbed timber wall cladding, smoked mirrors, and the pre-existing crackle glaze metro tiling and terrazzo flooring in the dining area are brought to life with vibrant artwork including modernist museum posters from exhibitions around Europe, as well as a mix of retro wall-mounted light fixtures and luxe pendants, and vintage mid-Century armchairs and furniture such as the waiter stations and coffee tables.
The use of the B3-designed colourful textured glass bricks divides the dining area from the kitchen, which forms the backdrop of the restaurant, and while it encloses the kitchen, it also allows for a glimpse of behind-the-scenes activity taking place by the chefs. A chalkboard menu revealing the daily specials sits above the glazing, and tables in the dining area boast new laminated tabletops with brass metal edges.
B3 Designers also redecorated Caffè Cinquanta’s exterior and delivered the branding for this project