Bulter’s owners have a background in Melbourne hospitality and they know their stuff, the brief to create a relaxed space for locals to enjoy was an easy choice and seemed to naturally take on a Melbourne/Japanese vibe.

The clients are also aware that for an intimate izakaya style venue, charming staff are a vital element. The plan therefore works to surprise the guests by deformalizing the standard interactions between staff and customer.

A perforated ply lining sits within a raw concrete shell to describe the dining room, an easily approachable bar near the entrance helps to make a welcoming and intimate arrival. Moving through the space, diners are required to squeeze past a kitchenette, challenging the standard “back of house” notion.

Seating follows the curve of the table around to the back bar. Guests on this side are in the unusual position of sitting next to the barman while looking across the dining space towards the chef. Spacing between guests is cosy, enough to be comfortable but close enough to encourage casual conversations between groups.

The transparency of the ply sheeting was tweaked to create glimpses within but still allow enough privacy to allow guests to let their guard down (and even misbehave!)

Project Team:

Christopher Frederick Jones

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