Inspired by the night markets of Taiwan, gastropub Danlu opened in Philadelphia’s University City neighbourhood in December 2017.
In 2015, Chef Patrick Feury along with his partners Henry Chu and Michael Wei —the team behind the beloved French-Asian fusion Berwyn restaurant, Nectar — travelled to Taiwan and visited a number of night markets. They immediately fell in love with the food — which Wei grew up eating in Taiwan — and decided to bring the country’s flavours to Philadelphia with a new restaurant. Feury and his partners ate and drank their way through markets in five cities in Taiwan, as well as in Hong Kong and China.
The interior of the two-storey venue was designed by the celebrated New York City firm, Jeffrey Beers International (JBI). Over the last 30 years, the firm’s work has set a new standard in the field of hospitality design. JBI’s work recently received industry recognition when it was nominated for a Restaurant & Bar Design Award in the ‘Americas Restaurant’ category.
A spokesperson for Jeffrey Beers International said:
“We wanted the restaurant to be fun, energetic and playful to complement the university lifestyle of the community. We used natural & textured materials to try to achieve this café casual while still sophisticated feel. These materials in juxtaposition with the colourful bold mural graphics round out the space to feel less intimidating while still remaining visually memorable for guests.
“At first the overall feedback was very positive – everyone loved the warmth and the strong graphics. Overtime, the client expressed that the design was to be elevated for the university students who study and live in the area.
“It is always fun to work on a project with a client that is looking to bring new energy into a community. The food concept of Asian Gastro Pub was new and exciting to us and the challenge of how to create an environment that complimented the food concept was unique.”
Design highlights include a beer and whiskey barrel display adjacent to the kitchen for aging ingredients for the menu and the bar; mixed plank wood tabletops; glazed bricks inside the open kitchen; a glowing light band at the edge of the mezzanine to help frame out the space; vertical channel tufted banquettes with custom back cushions in playful graphic fabric pattern; a communal table featuring wood planks and blackened metal trim with exposed rivets; and handmade blackened metal armature chandeliers which were made by partner Henry Chu.
Danlu’s menu features small plates, raw compositions, noodles and rice dishes, Chinese sandwiches, and large plates.
“Taiwanese cuisine is very eclectic, and contains familiar ingredients woven together with unexpected sauces and seasonings,” said Feury. “Many of the dishes we experienced also come from China and southeast Asia. So many of the compositions that we tasted just blew us away, and we knew immediately that we wanted to bring these flavours to Philadelphia. With Michael Wei having grown up in Taiwan, this cuisine is in his blood and part of his background, and it helps to bring much more authenticity to Danlu.”
To find out more, please visit www.tastedanlu.com.
Jeffrey Beers International
Founded in 1986 in New York City, Jeffrey Beers (JBI) is a globally recognised leader in hospitality, architecture and design. The full-service design studio combines an artist’s sense of craft and exploration with an understanding of the client’s vision, producing engaging social spaces that are simultaneously successful businesses. The 35-person team creates gathering spaces that transcend trends and celebrate culture, life and people through design.