When evaluating the places in which we drink and dine, the menu usually comes first. However, there are many aspects that make a venue great, which is what the Eat Drink Design Awards, now in its fourth year, recognises. The awards take into consideration the history of the business and the site, the menu, the owners and the visual identity. “Design can transform every type of eating and drinking experience. Good restaurant design can make us feel successful, special, even at home. A well-designed bar makes us feel equally comfortable in the camaraderie of friends, lovers or strangers,” says Cameron Bruhn, editorial director at Architecture Media and member of the judging panel.
The awards night is run by Architecture Media – the publishers who put out Artichoke Magazine as well as Houses and Architecture Australia. The winners were announced last night at a party at Melbourne’s Ormond Hall. There were six categories and a Hall of Fame award. Best Bar Design went to design company Xtra Shiny for Adelaide laneway bar Clever Little Tailor, which according to the judging panel is, “Carefully considered and admirably consistent.” Best Restaurant Design went to Grant Cheyne for Rockpool Est 1989 for its, “elegance, restraint and comfort.” Best Cafe went to DesignOffice for A. Baker, in the bottom of Canberra’s heritage-listed New Acton Pavilion. Coffee Peddlr, the sunflower-yellow van (unsurprisingly) peddling coffee, by Ruined City won Best Temporary Design. Best Retail Design went to Richards & Spence for The Standard Market Company Newstead, a Queensland food market which hosts a butcher, baker, deli and greengrocer. Inhouse won Best Identity Design for the Seafarers/Ostro building located on Auckland’s harbour front.
The Hall of Fame award went to Meyers Place by Six Degrees. “The designers have managed to distil a venue’s history, menu and quirks and turn these into a detailed yet practical interior, graphic identity or retail setting,” says Cassie Hansen, editor of Artichoke magazine.