Greyhound Café, Fitzrovia
Popular Thai-based restaurant brand Greyhound Café has already made a splash in 2018 by opening its first venue on the western market. Located in London’s trendy Fitzrovia, Greyhound Café offers a traditional Thai experience with a modern twist.
Spanning two floors, the 120-cover restaurant has been designed by B3 Designers and celebrates the best of Thai cuisine and culture. The design carries on much that has been successful for the Greyhound brand in Asia while the food is traditional Thai cooking with signature twists.
As the final touches were being made to the site, Premier Hospitality spoke to interior designer and director of B3 Designers, Mark Bithrey, to find out more about the project:
“The Greyhound brand is very strong, and we had to echo some of the key elements of the design already featured in the Asian locations. When we first started doing some research to understand the culture, we came across a word and concept we thought was relevant – siwilai. Siwilai means civilised status and was started in Thailand by the monarchy. They were trying to invite influences from the west into their society but at the same time maintain their own heritage. It was very important that they kept local Thai sensibilities but with foreign, western aesthetics. This very much underpins what Greyhound does.
“They are very modern, not traditionally Thai but they also have a lot of elements that are quirky and Thai in their origin. The Greyhound team was adamant that we retain the more modern elements of the design, for which they are renowned, rather than weave any obvious traditional Thai features.
“It’s a very monochromatic space like the rest of their sites. I think what stands out, especially from the outside, is the lighting and ambient warmth that makes you want to go inside. The whole atmosphere is very inviting. Greyhound brought its own team to work on art installations and artwork that are quite quirky and very unique to London.”
“It was only once we started working on the project that we realised just how big the Greyhound Café brand really is. It’s an amazing opportunity and we didn’t quite understand the scale of the brand until we visited Thailand and met their team.”
The menu includes a mix of meals to please Thai food aficionados and novices alike. Dishes include Hoy Ob Mow Din, mussels steamed in a clay pot with a heap of sweet basil and lemongrass; Lamb Cubes Yellow Chilli, grilled lamb cubes in tongue-tingling yellow chilli sauce mixed with crunchy celery; and Weeping Wolf, grilled lamb on a bed of cucumber ribbons served with crispy holy basil and signature green sauce.
The Greyhound brand originally began in Bangkok as a fashion house over 35 years ago in 1980. It wasn’t until 1997 that Greyhound expanded into the food industry. The first café opened at the Emporium shopping complex in Bangkok, becoming an instant hit and marking the first step on a portfolio that stretches across Asia. Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore all now boast Greyhound Cafés.
As the brand’s first site in Europe, Greyhound Café Fitzrovia is the start of an important new chapter with further venues planned in other European cities to be announced. To find out more, please visit greyhoundcafe.uk.
The French Group
Greyhound Café has arrived in London via Thailand thanks to Principal Contractor, The French Group in conjunction with B3 Design. This new restaurant is a welcome addition to the existing high end eateries in Fitzrovia and is the first opening for the chain in Europe.
The Thai influence is apparent as soon as you walk in. Floral displays give the space an authentic eastern feel and help to lift up the monochrome interior. Laid over two floors, the architect B3 Design have worked with French’s to give the space a genuine Thai feel. The level of detail can be seen in the alphabet bar tiles, all individually crafted especially for Greyhound Café, and photographed by Tom Bird Photography.
Paying homage to its Thai roots, the food preparation area has open storage shelves above the bar utilising the space for crockery and cooking tools. As well as this they have a giant hanging fish trap and a quirky display at their drinks fountain.
In keeping with the monochrome tableaux, the daily specials are introduced on traditional blackboards with the staff adding their own chalk drawing interpretations. The basement has an interior redolent of a Bangkok street scene with corrugated metals walls and wired café chairs.
The restaurant is a mix of traditional an international all fused together beautifully by The French Group.
The French Group has established itself as specialists in the area of fitting out properties, specifically for the restaurant trade, to suit businesses’ specific needs. This is achieved through their extensive experience, customer focused attitude, flexibility and impressive ability to create all of their own in-house manufacturing.
Inside Out Contracts
Having supplied furniture to the hospitality industry since 1999, Inside Out Contracts are leading commercial furniture specialists, with a collection to suit all design needs and budgets. Based in London, Inside Out Contracts have a diverse supplier network across Europe, ensuring a comprehensive and extensive range of products, and is backed by a UK-based workshop and an impressive showroom.
Clients include Accor Hotels, Hilton Hotels, McDonalds UK, Curzon Cinemas, Harvey Nichols, Browns Brasseries and The Shard, amongst others. Inside Out Contracts also supplied furniture for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Most recently, Inside Out Contracts were involved with Greyhound Café. Working closely with B3 Designers, Inside Out provided expert knowledge on production selection for the Greyhound Café project, ensuring all furniture was delivered on time and within budget.
Justin Harrison, Sales Manager for Inside Out Contracts, said:
“We supplied a unique range of products for this project to fit the design requirements, such as pairing customised bentwood style chairs alongside modern metal armchairs and lounge chairs.”
“Working with B3 Designers is always a pleasure. Their projects are always well thought out and design-led. This particular project was highly anticipated, being the first UK location for the world and Instagram famous Greyhound Café group. It has been well worth the hype and we are delighted to add Greyhound Café to our portfolio of world-class clients.”
Inside Out Contracts is spearheaded by like-minded design enthusiasts who pride themselves on their friendly and professional approach to every project. From initial enquiry through to the production and delivery of their furniture, each member of the team cares about providing the best possible service.
“Our attention to detail on this project alone, considering the diverse combination of products supplied, demonstrates our ability and expertise to meet any brief.”
Indigo Catering Equipment Ltd
Indigo Catering Equipment Ltd is a kitchen design and installation specialist, working on cutting edge projects throughout the hospitality sector. The company was founded in September 2013 and within the last five years has built up an enviable portfolio of projects.
Clients include Greyhound Group, Elite Hotels, Brighton University, Muriel’s Kitchen, Salvation Army, Harvey’s Brewery and East & West Sussex County Councils, amongst others.
Most recently, Indigo Catering Equipment Ltd worked alongside the architect and main building contractor on the Greyhound Café project on Berners Street; designing and installing the catering equipment and bar facilities. The project included a basement production kitchen, front of house theatre kitchen and two bars.
Due to the nature of the open kitchen, a particularly high standard was needed in order to provide diners with an unforgettable experience. Indigo Catering Equipment Ltd also overcame tight deadlines to bring the project in on time for the official opening.
Indigo Catering Equipment Director, Andy Booth, said:
“We’re really pleased with the finished facilities at Greyhound Group’s flag ship London site and we are proud to have delivered a project for this impressive venue. It’s been a pleasure to work on a unique Thai restaurant like this with open theatre cooking.
“Greyhound Group is a global up and coming brand in Europe and being a young company ourselves it was a lovely stepping stone to showcase what we at Indigo Catering Equipment Ltd are capable of achieving.”
“At Indigo Catering Equipment, our approach is highly consultative and designed to minimise stress, save time and work strictly within our clients’ budgets. We spend time to assess all areas of the project including technical feasibility, health and safety implications, licensing, front of house considerations, equipment specifications and deadlines.”