With Dan Hong at the helm, we knew the food would be inspired by an Asian twist. I wanted it to have a feel of my grandfathers old shed complete with pegboard & old jars screwed to shelves to house all his nuts & bolts. We used inspiration of early NY graffiti artists & had a Biggie Smalls song sprayed onto the main dining wall. We retained existing elements including the upstairs & downstairs bar but altered their heights & materials.
We choose 4 dining experiences: banquette seating, communal table, tables for 4-6 and high tables in the bar.
For the details, I sourced old Chinese enamel signage and stencils that I used throughout the space. I bought so many hooks, not just for coats & bags, but additional seating, lighting and fire buckets. The pegboards are covered with rusty tools & hardware and buckets & lighting hang from the beamed ceiling, pulleys & cleats. I had beveled mirrors made for the bathrooms & upstairs bar in the shape of my favourite shields. The lighting is a mix of old & new, all harping on the industrial age & mostly shipped in from the States & Netherlands.
Tables were all custom made from chipboard & harassed wood to fit as many in as possible. Seating ranged from fiberglass & wicket bucket chairs, vintage school & industrial chairs and stools, and folding stools from Pinch UK. I added a vintage sofa for the bar & upholstered it in old coffee sacks.
The upholstery of the banquette seating upstairs was a denim sailcloth fabric, patchworked to resemble an old sail I have stashed away. We softened the sound by adding burlap-covered panels that cover the ceiling. Walls were papered in old magazine & book pages, and stripes were painted on the existing black walls leading down to the bathroom. We kept the existing floors & only manipulated the street level floor by painting oversized checkerboard on it.
To break up the existing floor to ceiling curved glass wall we hung thick sisal rope, knotting & tying it randomly, and interspersed vintage hanging workman lighting throughout. The small neon sign on the exterior in handwriting matches inside with ‘621’ emblazoned in neon on the wall, exposing MsG’s tongue-in-cheek name.
In the exterior garden, which council denies us use, I sourced old metal boxes that we filled with herbs & plants that could be utilised in the kitchen. These boxes are also placed on the bars. The giant impressive plane tree was given more light to show off plus a bamboo screen to create intimacy from a neighbouring carpark.
The final effect is one of layering, fun & history. We encourage you to carve your name into the wall on the top floor bar and enjoy as many slushies as you like!