Platform railway arch restaurant opens with Sampson Associates interiors and Substrakt website

Platform, a new restaurant and bar in London Bridge, is poised to unveil interiors by Sampson Associates and a website by Birmingham-based consultancy Substrakt.

Platform is taking over the railway arch premises of former lap-dancing club The Rembrandt. Restaurateur Tony McKinlay initially considered keeping the strip club’s fixtures and fittings, but decided ’they were not kitsch enough to be cool, looking a bit “B&Q”’.

McKinlay appointed Sampson Associates in August after considering one other London designer. He and Sampson Associates are collaborating on the interiors, which will feature reclaimed fixtures and fittings from other restaurants, bars, clubs and other sources.

’The initial brief has evolved a lot, from being inspired by French bistros to having a pewter bar, and then to the current plan,’ says McKinlay.
The split-level railway arch will house a downstairs bar for up to 100 drinkers, and an upstairs restaurant that will seat about 65.It will serve meat cuts from natural-reared whole carcasses supplied by McKinlay’s Devon farmer friend Barnaby Butterfield.

Drinkers downstairs will be able to draw with chalk on the tables, which are made from slate reclaimed from pool tables. The waitress station is created from baker’s shelves, and a reclaimed mirrored ball will hang from the double-height ceiling. Sampson and McKinlay are converting birdcages into light fittings.

The bar and all other fixtures are being designed to be moved easily from the arch, which is likely to be vacated within two or three years to make way for the expansion of London Bridge train station.

’McKinlay wants it to be really unique – the reusable thing is really important to him. He loves the idea of taking something that has been used previously and giving it a second life,’ says Sampson Associates senior interior designer Catherine Banfield.

McKinlay appointed graphics and branding group Substrakt in October on the strength of the consultancy’s previous work for him, although he also considered two other London-based design groups for the job.

Substrakt has created the visual identity, branding, graphics, menu, marketing and stationery for the restaurant, which is intended to appeal to city and office workers.

Platform opens on 15 April.

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