Ernesto's, a vibrant Cuban bar and restaurant, is the latest addition to hit Wellington's hospitality scene, nestled in the historic Post Office Square.
Catalyst was thrilled to be chosen as the designers of this space which draws inspiration from Old Cuba but with a modern twist, radiating warmth and energy from the inside out. The Spanish colonial style is referenced in the design of the bar with custom graphics and bright colors infused in unexpected places.
1 Grey Street, Wellington Central, Wellington 6011
- Project principle Anya Kouzminova
- Project team
- Anya Kouzminova
Catalyst designer, Anya Kouzminova cleverly used existing elements and repurposed them whenever feasible, to preserve the space's original character.
The exposed ceiling services and concrete ceiling beams were left uncovered to bring light into the space and divide the bar area from the dining functions. The combination of two former tenancies created a large open space with a design and layout that caters to different dining styles and moods.
The warm oak and walnut joinery gives the feeling of an establishment that has been around for years, and the mix of masculine and feminine touches in the selection of fabrics and soft furnishings creates a welcoming and inviting atmosphere. The patterned carpet, navy, teal, and pink upholstery, and aged brass accents add to the Spanish colonial style, while touches of greenery, plants, and lighting soften the space.
Ernesto's seamlessly transforms from a daytime cocina into a stylish cocktail bar and restaurant in the evening. The perimeter leaners face the street front bathed in light, while the intimate banquette booths frame the dinner diners. The various seating options, including the reclaimed solid oak leaners and plush booth seating, cater to different patrons.
Overall, Ernesto's is a vibrant and inviting space that celebrates the energy and warmth of Old Cuba while incorporating modern design elements. ¡Viva la Cuba!
- Project lead Anya Kouzminova
- Project team
Anya Kouzminova ,