A bistro in the heart of eclectic Kitsilano, a space where a variety of patrons can feel comfortable including the environmentally aware, the middle aged professional, and the energetic youth. Oakwood Canadian Bistro was designed with these diverse demographics in mind to create a space that fits the neighbourhood; is natural, exudes quality, and creates memorable experiences.
SSDG and the owner have collaborated in the past and joined again to determine what this space could be, and how it feels in a variety of settings – fresh brunch, dimly lit dinner, vibrant game night and happening après scene. We agreed it needed to fit with the neighbourhood and incorporated custom wood feature areas with the help of a master craftsman who built tree columns, log screens, and a live edge communal table.
A big challenge in small spaces is creating intimacy and offering different atmospheres to keep the restaurant experience evolving. The question always is tossed around about whether or not to have TV’s in the lounge as it can define a small room to have sports playing or TV on all the time. We solved this by concealing the LCD’s behind mirror allowing the owner to control the settings.
To create memorable experiences it is important not only to change the settings of the space but also offer variety. We have fireside lounge settings, private booths, communal table, bench seats to fit any group and a seat at the bar where you can see all the action to the entry, to a sneak peak at the diners through the mirror above to bar and to all the great creations happening in the kitchen. Word of mouth is important to keep the new restaurant buzzing, so why not keep them talking about their experience and the interesting art on the way to the washrooms, you should see it to believe it!
Photographer: Kim Muise