beef & liberty k-wah
Shanghai, China – 2017
Casual burger joint matures into design destination through glam accents, rich wood flooring, and eclectic lighting.
Already an established and well-loved brand in Hong Kong and Shanghai, Beef & Liberty has matured from casual burger joint into a destination for high quality food, drinks, and atmosphere.
The new K.Wah Centre location poses the brand’s original concept against the fast paced, urban Shanghai vibe. B & L takes its concept and name from a real 18th century London club: The Sublime Society of Beefsteaks. A salon of sorts for the elite and highbrow of the time, it was a gentlemen’s club for upscale food and conversation.
While those days are gone, the mood and style continues to have tenure. Our design for B & L’s latest outpost brings to life the vision of these clubs, and their bygone eras, in a distinctly contemporary way. We wanted to create exclusivity for all.
Leaning into the original turn of the century aesthetic, we layered in good old fashioned rock n’ roll (another classic British institution), a dose of modernism, and – of course – a nod to Shanghai bling.
Things like turquoise walls are introduced to a strong foundational space, a bold gold kitchen, colonial style rattan chairs, and together create an eccentric kind of warmth that makes the restaurant a hot spot.
A stylish dark wood fishbone patterned floor calls to mind mod herringbone suits or baroque drawing rooms.
Located on the ground floor, the restaurant faces Xiangyang Park, and is located close to Huaihai Road CBD. The bar features a red marble top and vertical warm wood paneling – conjuring that 18th century feel and establishing a tone.
Cognac leather sofas and oversized chairs in rich colors and offer lounge-y booth options and hint at the kind of old school decadence a steak society might partake of.
Since the restaurant remains a popular lunch choice, it was crucial the design translate casually, as well. Customized pendant lights fixed to the ceiling act as centerpieces, and create ambience. The dining room is spacious, and the lights hang unexpectedly throughout. The right lighting in a restaurant is as important as the taste of the food.
Baroque may be the mood, but Shanghai is a contemporary, sexy city. Jewel toned walls and paneling are offset with gold cladding. Dining tables feature dustier, subdued colors, and a copper edge. Subtle choices rub up against bold ones, energizing without overwhelming.
Just like the original Sublime Society, the design suggests this is a burger joint with big ideas. Who says you can’t be old fashioned in a modern world?
Client: Beef & Liberty
Size: 375 sqm
Design scope: interior & FFE
Design Team: Wendy Saunders, Vincent de Graaf, Fuzi He,Cindy Xu,Carter Chen, Isabel Qin, Ivan Yu, Jiaoyan, Lea Li, Liat Goldman, Maggie Li, So Won Lee
lighting consultant: Isometrix
Photography: Dirk Weiblen