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Farmer J: Designing Restaurants For All-day-trade


Jonathan Recanati, founder of Farmer J, was looking to expand the brand from their first location in Ledenhall Road to a new venue with a bigger, more diverse offering. He sought a design partner with strong hospitality experience in all-day-trade environments. It was unsurprising he contacted Australian design studio Biasol to fulfil the brief.

As well as a sharp style which has seen them pick up many design awards in recent years, Biasol have previous when it comes to catching all-day-trade. Their design for Clerkenwell Grind - an all day and late night restaurant with a club space downstairs - has been a massive success which has helped the brand roll out further than ever before. So what's the secret?

Exterior of Farmer J with two entrances for flow

It's all about signage and flow

Two entries and two bars attract on-the-go and dine-in customers and accommodate the flow of all-day trade. To one side, a long food bar serves takeaway breakfast, lunch and coffee and extends into back-of-house, with neon “Coffee” and “Order Here” signage directing the customer journey. Across the room, a second bar serves drinks for dine-in customers.

farmer j floorplan

Mixed seating is crucial to mixed service

A variety of seating throughout the restaurant, including counter/bar, booth, banquette, window and communal tables, unite the space and blur the zoning of service types, meeting the demands of fast food but providing the warmth, atmosphere and hospitality of dine-in.

The Farmer J furniture includes the Amy side chair and barstool for continutiy but also adds a selection of stools without backs: Deli barstool & Triangle barstool, which facilitate faster turnaround for those looking for a quick eat (barstools with backs encourage diners to linger longer).

Let's get intimate

Materiality and detailing are used to create differing levels of intimacy depending on the service. A lighter material palette for the food bar entices day customers, while darker tones for the drink bar sets a cosier mood and scene for night service. Inspired by the diversity of Tel Aviv architecture, handcrafted tiles and hand-rendered concrete walls add texture and depth and tile patterns and half-dowel timber battens are matched and mismatched to create a random but orchestrated experience. A timber arch frames a dining alcove with the Farmer J motto: “Do what comes natural.”

discreet menus in Farmer J

Biasol refined the Farmer J brand, elevating it for the dine-in restaurant and integrating it throughout the venue with signage, menus and staff apparel. A fresh green palette, clear brand language and vibrant plants are inviting, and menus are noticeably positioned for day trade, yet unobtrusive for night trade.

menus and greenery in Farmer J interiors

The result?

As Biasol explain “The design accommodates dine-in and on-the-go customers, the space effortlessly transitions from morning to night, week to weekend and coffee to cocktails. By merging the concept of grab-and-go with a full-service restaurant, together with Farmer J, we redefined the perception of fast-casual dining, elevating the experience and brand.”

View more images & the full list of furniture here. Or download our Look Book to explore other projects.

Big thanks to Focal Interior Photography for the images. 

What's next for Biasol?

Watch out for Greenwich Grind, another multi-functional space designed to attract the all-day-trade launching late 2018. Expanding the brand outside 0f Zone 1 for the first time, the biggest Grind to date will feature a cocktail bar and lounge to the front of the listed building, alongside a grab-and-go café for takeaway coffee and food. To the rear, a 160 cover indoor-outdoor dining room and garden set in the rear conservatory, flooded with natural light and already being transformed into a greenhouse-like oasis of tropical plants.

Topics: Interior design interviews, Project focus

By Paula Stanbridge-Faircloth Paula Stanbridge-Faircloth on 22/10/18 11:28
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