The Apero Bar & Restaurant, by Dexter Moren Associates, was the Overall Winner in the ‘Restaurant or bar in a heritage building’ category at the 2013 Restaurant & Bar Design Awards. Located in the Victorian cellar of The Ampersand Hotel, Apero was designed to stand apart from the hotel with a series of flexible zones.
In designing this space one of the challenges we faced was how to successfully integrate all day dining – it needed to serve breakfast for hotel guests but also successfully function as an evening bar, drawing in local clientele.
We responded by creating a flexible series of zones, such as the snug’s, which are tucked around the Victorian cellar arches. Bench tables can be used for communal breakfast service and later accommodate private dining.
From street level, guests enter via separate street entrance into a cool palette of pre-cast cement panels and brass-mesh stair case. A 5m tall cabinet of curiosities guides you from the top timber tread to the high contrast, tessellated floor. Featured through are reclaimed timber floors and original brickwork arches. The overall atmosphere is honest and casual, inviting guests to settle into the deep leather banquettes with a glass of wine.