Based in Spitalfields, London, Absurd Bird is a new Southern US inspired restaurant. Founded by an American Chef and young entrepreneur, Absurd Bird relays the amusing tale of the adventure of two rebellious birds who decide to jail break out of the cuckoo’s nest and embark on a memorable journey together.
DesignLSM created the striking interiors of the restaurant and reflected the playful identity and quirky menu with a modern yet nostalgic design, inspired by the backwaters of America’s Deep South. DesignLSM also worked alongside Form Room, who helped to bring DesignLSM’s more unusual designs to life with their creative manufacturing of items such as binocular spotlights – making Absurd Bird the unique space that it truly is.
Speaking to Premier Hospitality magazine, Sally Williams from DesignLSM said: “Initially we put some ideas together about how to portray Absurd Bird. We looked at how to identify the bird without being too cliché and our solution was to allow the customer to imagine the absurdity, so the bird is never actually revealed. The interior depicts everything but the bird. Phone wires, footprints, empty cages, bird houses and forests but the absurdity is for the customer to imagine. Bird spotting paraphernalia is also provided in the form of pendent light binoculars, clue notes descriptors and maps.”
The restaurant is set over two floors and combines a warm and rustic all-day dining environment on the ground floor, with a relaxed and intimate evening cocktail bar in the basement.
The restaurant uses weathered timber cladding, taken from genuine imported repurposed US barns, combined with corrugated tin panels to bring a raw ‘out doors’ aesthetic into the space. There are also playful touches, flannel shirt upholstery and vibrant neon signage, along with birch tree chandeliers and empty illuminated birdcages hung overhead. The cement tabletops are brandished with bird footprints, which have been left by the feathery outlaws on their chaotic journey.
Sally added: “This is the flagship restaurant and the brands introduction to London. The food offer is mainly served on the ground floor from an open service pass in the basement. There is also a take away ‘wing shack’ at the front of the ground floor serving directly onto the street through a timber clad shack shutter and also into the restaurant. The wing shack backs onto a small ‘moonshine shack’ which also serves drinks to the ground floor diners.”
Downstairs is a curtained off area leading into a 1920s speakeasy/gin joint which harks back to a forgotten time of luxury and glamour, if a little worn and tired, Jazz, New Orleans & prohibition are all gestured here. The bar is designed with a grand marble top, brass trim and ornate wooden frontage, decorated with a distressed paint effect. The seating booths are framed by luxurious fabrics and bespoke wallpaper that depicts vintage oil paintings.
Absurd Bird opened in March with plans in place to open another location in Soho.
Sally concluded: “It’s really nice to work with trusted partners and to create a productive and trusting working relationship with the client – who allowed us complete creative freedom to create the absolutely absurd.”