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The mystery ingredient

Moo, Mystery, Casual Dining Design Awards 2015
Written by Roma Publications

Moo, Mystery, Casual Dining Design Awards 2015

Award-winning brand design agency Mystery, who specialise in bar and restaurant design, boasted no less than seven projects entered in the finals of the Casual Dining Design Awards.

Founded in 1998, Mystery has helped conceive and /or develop over 30 hospitality brands to help create a broad variety of F&B concepts in different food service markets and territories around the world.

The company has also co-ventured a portfolio food and beverage businesses and even developed and launched their own restaurant bar concept in London’s Covent Garden.

Their in-house team of graphic and restaurant interior design specialists work closely together to create inspiring features and talking points aimed at driving brand awareness, initiating memorable interactions with customers and giving each brand the opportunity to stand out from the crowd.

Mystery were finalists in the Casual Dining Design Awards 2015 Best Designed Independent Restaurant category with Dub Jam in Covent Garden, Moo Cantina Argentina in Pimlico and Brick Lane, Smithfield in Watling Street and Spiaggia in Fulham.

Butlin’s Firehouse in Skegness was Mystery’s entry amongst finalists in the Best Designed Multiple Restaurant Category, whilst their design for Adventure Bar in Clapham was a finalist in Best Designed Casual Dining Pub Category.

 Dub Jam

Having conceived the concept for this Jerk BBQ & Rum Shack; written the business plan; compiled the team; and raised the finance; Mystery set about designing the Dub Jam brand identity, website and interior design – with up-cycled car wheels and beer-kegs as stools; buoys and tin-cans as lights and a sound-system playing classic tunes from the legendary Trojan Records.

For the website, Mystery designed a fun, simple one-page website that would suit mobile devices, score highly in search-engines; encourage people to sign-up; download the menu; connect through social media; and locate the venue on Googlemaps.

Moo, Mystery, Casual Dining Design Awards 2015

Moo Cantina Argentina

In Argentina there is a saying ‘Mi Casa es tu Casa’ which means ‘my home is your home’. When four London-based Argentinians decided to roll out their Moo Bar & Grill concept in the capital, creating a ‘home from home’ was just what they had in mind.

Mystery created a brand identity and interior design celebrating the spirit of ‘playful discovery’, revealing the many varied landscapes of Argentina – with furniture ‘up-cycled’ from builder’s pallets, and brightly painted reclaimed doors, which were ingeniously turned into tables.


Having defined the strategic brand positioning and created the visual identity for Smithfield – an exciting hot sandwiches and salads F&B concept, inspired by London’s historic meat market; Mystery designed the interior concept; created the website; takeaway packaging; signage; menu pos; uniform specification; tone-of-voice/copywriting; landlord presentation; and even introduced a key investor.

Mystery designed the website to link visually seamlessly with all the other brand assets, to help create a truly coherent brand experience online and in-store.

Spiaggia, Mystery, Casual Dining Design Awards 2015


It didn’t take long to say “absoluto” when Mish Haddad asked if Mystery would design ‘Spiaggia’ (simply meaning ‘beach’) – an Italian tapas restaurant in London.

At 2,500 sq ft split over two levels, the ground floor is designed as a sunny restaurant space. It includes a long blown glass tapas bar, white-washed timber decking, stripy fabrics and kitsch Italian hand-painted murals with neon signs. Mystery designed the basement ‘Lower Deck’ with a pool bar cocktail lounge feel and low seating, a cabana day-bed and a selection of retro arcade games.

Spiaggia, Mystery, Casual Dining Design Awards 2015

Butlin’s Firehouse

One of Britain’s best loved family holiday brands decided it was time to re-invent its food offer with an exciting new family restaurant concept.

Mystery helped Butlin’s hatch ‘Firehouse’, a seriously entertaining family roastery – with loads of quirky things to keep the family happy and give parents a place where they can relax and enjoy dinner.

It’s clear from the giant hen hanging outside, with the fiery tail feathers, that this place does flame-roasted chicken – but once inside, you enter a barn with a Butlin’s difference – from having your photo taken in the egg-shaped booth seats through to the oversized ‘cluckoo clock’ – this place entertains, whilst creating a unique warm and homely experience.

Adventure Bar

Mystery was commissioned by Adventure Bar – a vibrant chain of London-based cocktail bars – to transform their Clapham Junction site with a unforgettable new interior and developed messaging to help sell their extended food offer. Starting with a strategic brand positioning exercise, Mystery defined ’Adventure Bar’ as fun brand full of character, where ‘every cocktail adds to the story!’.

A full redesign of the brand identity, menu and website followed, with a time-defying design concept which split the twin fronted building into a kitsch 1970s lounge time-zone and a Victorian ‘steam punk’ time zone – complete with a wall-mounted deep-sea diver’s helmet for a unique social media opportunity!

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Roma Publications

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