Design Studio and Dusst create modern Mexican restaurant space

Branding consultancy Design Studio and interiors specialist Dusst have created the interiors for a new Covent Garden branch of Mexican restaurant Benito’s Hat.

Design Studio and Dusst began the project in November 2009, following previous work on the branding and interiors respectively for the restaurant’s initial site in London’s Goodge Street.

Benito’s Hat founder Ben Fordham briefed Design Studio and Dusst to keep the first restaurant’s lively, personal atmosphere and combine functionality with a ’fluid and professional’ feel.

Design Studio approached the project by analysing how the user journey could be improved, says Design Studio partner Ben Wright. The challenge was to come up with a space that could deal with the flow of customers requiring takeaway food during the daytime and sit-in dining in the evening, says Wright.

The restaurant, which is due to open on 5 July, will feature coloured glass, a blend of natural materials and a curved slatted oak counter with a granite top.

Dusst director John Tomalin-Reeves says, ’We’ve gone for a warehouse-style floor and an angular, geometric style. It’s quite European,but with a hint of modern urban Mexico.’ Wright adds, ’A lot of the competitors jump on Mexican visuals. We didn’t want to just use graphics.’

The site will include a bespoke table system where three individual units can be rotated to form a large table for big parties, which could not be easily accommodated at the original restaurant. Tomalin-Reeves says, ’It’s like a Swiss Army Knife – very versatile.’

Fordham says that he plans to work with Design Studio and Dusst in the future and is looking at sites for further restaurants.

Benito’s Hat interiors

  • Design Studio took inspiration for the space’s look and feel from posters for the 1970 football World Cup, which was held in Mexico, says partnerBen Wright
  • Instead of being ’functional and canteen-like’, the curved oak counter was designed to emphasise the freshness and quality of the food, says restaurant founder Ben Fordham
  • Work on the site begins next week and is due for completion at the end of June, in time for the opening on 5 July

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