Retaining the charm and character of the heritage-listed Port Office building while creating a luxe venue for serious meat lovers was a challenge for interior designer Sophie Ellis of Design Clarity
The beautiful Port Office building in the Stamford Plaza complex has a long, thin layout with extensive balconies, making it a perfect place to dine inside or out. It really exploits Brisbane’s beautiful weather. Owners Steven and Autumn Adams were already running the award-winning Moo Moo Broadbeach restaurant and had a clear idea of the look and feel they wanted to achieve in Brisbane. We brainstormed a lot of ideas, layout and finishes with them until deciding upon the final design. Work started in November 2009 with everyone pulling out all stops to have the establishment up and running by June 2010.
“Moobar features a long monolithic bar made of green marble that mirrors marble elements found in the original room. Heritage concerns meant we needed to work within the shell of the building, keeping all the original window frames and fireplaces. The five dramatic pendant lights were custom-made for the space while the mix of furniture in the bar is quite eclectic. There are long, luxurious lounges and feature chairs upholstered in various textiles from Loop, Osborne & Little, Mokum and South Pacific Fabrics’ Pollack.
“The main dining room has a pared-back palette with ebony timber tables, bronze trimmed joinery, oversized custom pendant lights and a dramatic metal-backed full-height red-wine display. A decorative wallpapered ceiling inlay in ‘Du Barry’ from Osborne & Little runs down the length of the space. The Angus Room is dark and moody with a central cluster of tiered red glass ‘Stargazer’ pendant lights by Jeremy Pyles. To break the monotony of chairs around the large circular table, we included two high-backed, small, movable banquette seats. The Port Office room is a reminder of the history of the building. It has a large picture of the old Port Office in the 1800s and is a completely different experience. The walls are clad in white leather panels and the sparkle of the Tom Dixon ‘Copper Shade’ lights create a dramatic centrepiece. There is also a small in-between room which has booth seating and darker, more geometric Tom Dixon ‘Pipe’ lights. All these unique spaces are linked by warm elements of dark ebony-stained timber and a bespoke printed carpet designed by Design Clarity. Because it is such a long thin restaurant, there were limitations when it came to designing for the flow of patrons and staff. We drew on the expertise of Steven and Autumn, as well as Adam Hibberd from Global Shopfitters (www.globalshopfitters.com) who facilitated implementation of this extensive transformation and brought the whole space to life.”