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Saturday, January 20, 2018

Experience celebrity moments - Bollywood style!

By Marina Correa
Photography: Prashant Bhat; courtesy the designer
Read Time: 2 mins
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Interior designer, Minnie Bhatt puts a spin on Bollywood iconography with two funky, Bollywood-inspired restaurants: Nau se Barah and The Fan Club…

Hospitality design has a wide range of playful, experimental elements to offer in terms of design, consequently engaging diners’ attention, and playing the field until the next big intriguing space comes along.  Situated adjacent to each other in a multiplex in Navi Mumbai, both these restaurants, which were initially planned as one large space, follow a palpable underlying filmy theme, directed predominantly at the youth. 

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Nau se Barah is larger (2,000 sq. ft.) with seating for aprox. 85 covers with booth seating along one side ensuring privacy, and centered casual seating and a bar counter with innovate swing seats. Cement sheets with wooden rafter ceiling and exposed brick walls evoke a cozy and warm feel in its outdoor section. 

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Steering clear of the pegging posters as the focus loci, Minnie Bhatt Designs along with the branding team have creatively used movie-inspired 3-D shadow boxes to further the design narrative. Following a retro theme, reminiscent of the 70s era, the colour palette is rich with in-your-face shades like deep reds, burnt orange, turquoise, pink, green etc. A play of textures – rough cement etched walls (behind the booth seating); opaque glass dividers; bulb-lit signage; exposed bricks behind the bar counter etc. cull out an eclectic vibe. Authenticating the name of the eatery is the catchy, popular line ‘Chalti hai kya 9/12’ illuminated in LEDs above the bar. 

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Meticulous detailing stands out throughout the project - be it through the customized clock pointing to 9 and 12 o’clock (literal translation of Nau se Barah) or grungy industrial lights or era-reminiscent hexagonal-shaped floor tiles that neatly complement the grey IPS flooring or even via a hexagonal rack chock-full of especially collated movie merchandise. 

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On the other hand, on entering the 100-watt bulb-lined red-rimmed The Fan Club, one comes face-to-face with caricatures of famous actors in B&W juxtaposed against an orange wall… Adding on a quirky element are old table fans hand painted with interesting yesteryear motifs and anecdotes dotting the table mats to keep the diner engaged. Not leaving the floor behind (literally) is a random mix of patterned cement tiles that break the monotony of the single-toned upholstery; another wall showcases shadow boxes dedicated to famous movie villains and other paraphernalia like gold biscuits, large currency notes and the like.

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An interesting take is the common entrance passageway to both restaurants that is dramatized with open-flash-mechanism vintage cameras mounted along one wall, ensuring that every guest feels like a celebrity. The cameras are fitted with light sensors; so, when a guest passes by, the flash goes off! And with movie posters hanging above…one can’t help but feel as if at a movie premiere!

Fact File:
Design firm: Minnie Bhatt Designs 
Principal Designer: Minnie Bhatt
Area: Nau se Barah: 2,000 sq. ft.
The Fan Club: 1,000 sq. ft.
Location: Kopar Khairane, Navi Mumbai 

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