Imli Street, an Indian eatery located in Wardour Street, Soho, has just reopened after having gone through a complete redesign and rebrand conducted by award-winning restaurant interior design specialist, B3 Designers.
Imli Street approached B3 Designers – the visionary design firm behind restaurants and bars including 28-50 wine bar, Bubbledogs, Aubaine and Fornata – to turn what was a traditional Indian setting into a urban Soho space with a street food feel.
The brief was to create an interior with a street food aesthetic, a casual space, yet still retaining the element of comfort and sophistication in which people would want to spend more time and enjoy. The space has been completely opened up (300m2 in total), stripped back to exposed brickwork, poured concrete walls and completed with a centralised feature bar, soft zonal seating and contemporary furnishings.
The use of materials in their natural, distressed state like the blackened steel bars, rustic oak timber table tops and the exposed cabling and industrial light fittings all show age and rawness of the style, evoking openness – what one would expect from a street scene, eating Indian street food.
The back of the restaurant has been unblocked by exposing three windows, previously hidden behind plasterboard, giving onto the iconic Soho Wardour Mews, again enhancing the sense of this streetscape scenery.
“We wanted to create a space that would capture the raw, industrial details of a street food scene yet retain a sense of warmth, comfort and sophistication,” says Mark Bithrey, owner and founder of B3 Designers.
The branding takes inspiration from travelling and the originality of street food in India. An offshoot of the Mayfair restaurant Tamarind (‘imli’ is hindi for Tamarind), Imli Street is a one-off independent restaurant and the branding needed to be seamless and subtle. The overall style reflects the food offering, which is based upon inspirations from the Indian street food arena, creating an urban raw canvas yet remaining comfortable in its prime Soho location.