The Old Crow Bars

A well matched, mixed up restaurant fit-out.

This project came through an old workmate of principal David Weir, back when late nights were spent making drinks, not making architecture. The owners of The Old Crow are all very experienced in the world of hospitality, and the fit-out of this restaurant needed to reflect their quality talents. DWA was engaged with a short brief, an open mind and a great deal of trust as we were asked to design the main restaurant bar and the coffee bar.

The cuisine of The Crow has a Mississippi bent to it, and our architecture was to evoke that without approaching kitsch. The heritage bones of the restaurant are about as old as this end of the city gets, so our design sought to tap into a flavour of New Orleans drinking holes of similar vintage. We were never seeking to recreate a look but rather pick up on an attitude – an eclecticism, a casual embrace of decoration and ornamentation, and a feeling that it didn’t all come together in a day.

Of course, in the scheme of things, it would need to come together in a very short period of time. To achieve the effect we instead sought out materials and practices that could bring a bit of blur and fuzziness to the place – colourful salvaged glass from places long disappeared, old jarrah pulled from a pile and given a fresh lease, handmade terracotta tiles made for castles – and paired them with fabricated steel and off-cuts of stone.

Surrounded by the owner’s hand-made & up-cycled furniture, we’d like to think that our contributions to the Crow fit right in, passively intriguing with their elusive pedigrees.