The Most Innovative Restaurant Designs In Australia

At the 9th edition of The Restaurant & Bar Design Awards which took place in London Thursday night, 700 of the world’s top designers gathered to recognize the most innovative and envelope-pushing dining spaces that opened up over 2016. Of all the new launches and re-openings of the last year, The Penny Drop in Melbourne impressed judges the most and was named the best overall restaurant design of 2017.

The Penny Drop is a playful mix of Art Deco light fittings, dark timber veneers, Dalmation-coloured granite and gold fixtures. (The Penny Drop)

Dreamed up by studio Design by Golden, The Penny Drop is a playful mix of Art Deco light fittings, dark timber veneers, Dalmation-coloured granite, gold fixtures, and circular forms, be they the curving bar or angled brass penny pendants suspended from the ceiling. Though the restaurant today is a permanent, 100-seater restaurant, The Penny Drop began as a small coffee pop-up for harried commuters on their way to the train station across the road. The all-day café serves modern Australian, Asian-inflected fare.

Taking the title of world’s best bar design is Westlight, a rooftop bar in Williamsburg, New York, from chef Andrew Carmellini. Designed by Studio Munge, the bar features panoramic floor to ceiling views of Manhattan from the 22nd floor of The William Vale hotel, and makes use of black iron, natural stone, warm leather and sensual velvet. Alongside classic cocktails and rare spirits, the bar menu also includes craft beer and wine, and small plates inspired by the global street food scene.

This year’s awards saw 980 entries from more than 70 countries. Winners across 37 categories were judged by a panel of influential personalities in design and hospitality. Here are the winning restaurants and bars from each region:

Europe bar: ADAM&Co, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Europe restaurant: Shade Burger, Poltava, Ukraine

Australia & Pacific bar: Beta Bar, Sydney, Australia

Australia & Pacific restaurant: Piccolino, Mount Waverley, Australia

Asia bar: JIS, Sapporo, Japan

Asia restaurant: Rhoda, Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Americas bar: Westlight, New York, USA

Americas restaurant: Duck Duck Goat, Chicago, USA

Middle East & Africa bar: Lock Stock & Barrel, Dubai, UAE

Middle East & Africa restaurant: Urbanologi, Johannesburg, South Africa

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