From Digital to Physical—The Broadsheet Restaurant
‘Sydney’s dining is something to celebrate, and we’ve created a place to do just that.’ So reads the front page of the menu at the recently opened Broadsheet Restaurant.
Launched initially in Melbourne to keep city locals abreast of the Victorian capital’s boundless bars and restaurants, Broadsheet landed in Sydney in 2012. As well as quickly becoming the go-to guide for what to do and where to eat in Sydney, the online publisher has also played a large hand in championing and democratising Sydney’s foodie scene, and more broadly – the city’s cultural landscape.
Housed on Danks Street in Waterloo, the Sydney restaurant concept follows on from the success of its Melbourne iteration last year. This time around however, Broadsheet enlisted the help of Foolscap Studio, the team responsible for another of Sydney’s recent super-hyped temporary dining initiatives – Noma Australia. “The brief revolved around bringing together a true hospitality experience, which had the quality of food, service and experience that would really celebrate the best of Sydney’s restaurant scene,” explains Foolscap Studio and Relative’s strategy and design director Dhiren Das. Relative is Foolscap’s sister studio and collaborative think tank who was also involved on the Broadsheet project.
Navigated by head chef John Javier of Surry Hills recently closed Master restaurant, Broadsheet’s menu features parts and pieces from Sydney’s best and brightest kitchens. Diners at the all-day venue will be able to sample dishes from The Apollo, Fratelli Paradiso, 10 William Street, Shenkin, Short Stop Donuts, Hubert, Reuben Hills and more. Coffee is supplied by rotation of Sydney’s beloved local roasters, and behind the bar are the award-winning barmen from Bulletin Place and Dead Ringer. Music in the restaurant has been programmed by community station, FBi Radio.
The challenge for Foolscap was in creating a space that could assemble the heart of cultural and culinary Sydney, but also bring Broadsheet’s ethos and digital footprint out into the real world. “We wanted to create a space that responded to the site and to Sydney as an identity, and what hospitality means to us in a Sydney context. Something a bit more fresh, something more open, but still quite refined,” says Das. “We also needed to showcase and celebrate the incredible contributors – the bars, restaurants and cafes.”
Foolscap’s design cleverly draws together both the physical and digital in an effort to reflect a little of the essence of the Broadsheet brand. “This concept came about from Broadsheet’s brand DNA being a digital medium, and its namesake coming from a physical medium,” Das explains. “We looked at the fundamentals of the traditions of a broadsheet newspaper, and the idea of bringing that into the present as a digital medium.”
Design details point towards traditional media – ink, paper and the print press. “Within the space we’ve sort of created a datum below which we’ve treated the space in darker, richer materials. Everything below the datum represents the ink. Above that clean cut line throughout the space it’s lighter, and so it’s more about the white page, and paper.” A ceiling installation has been made from durable paper material, with forms actually drawn from a print press.
Rolling projections of video content shot in some of the contributing restaurant’s kitchens provide a digital overlay on a paper-clad wall and “tell the story of all of these incredible venues by providing rich visual insight into their inner workings.”
Interior elements have been sourced from a host of local makers and suppliers, including Artedomus, and textiles from Shibori and Kvadrat Maharam. Indoor furniture at the restaurant has been supplied by Thonet, while outdoor pieces were sourced from Tait. Lighting was supplied by Koda, and signage was created by Sydney based studio Lynes & Co. Window furnishings were completed by up and coming studio, daast.
“It was really about a constant flow of comparing ideas and refining that core concept,” adds Das. “The digital and physical really underpinned everything. So we worked to make sure everything would read cohesively from the art direction of the video, right through to sourcing the loose items, and the lighting.”
This piece first appeared on Indesign, 11 October 2016.
Image, the Broadsheet Restaurant on Danks Street, by Nikki To.