Michelin star-winning chef and restaurant proprietor Simon Rogan is set to diversify his restaurant business, with the launch of a casual dining brand created by consultancy Fudge.
The culinary entrepreneur, who established the much-lauded Lake District destination L’Enclume in 2006, will add Rogan & Company to his portfolio when the £200 000 venue opens in Cartmel in Cumbria later this year.
Rogan plans to roll out the brand concept, which he says is ‘all but a posh pub’, to locations across the north of England, and is currently mooting urban centres including Newcastle or Manchester for the next development.
Fudge was appointed in February, without a pitch, to create the identity and website for Rogan & Company, having worked on a similar brief for L’Enclume.
Fudge creative director Robin Arnold explains that the brief was to create an identity that would reflect a traditional, casual dining style with a more populist appeal than L’Enclume. Using Victorian etchings, illustrations and furniture, local heraldry and crests, as well as Lake District wildlife and antique silverware for inspiration, Fudge has devised an identity which it says is strongly ‘typographic and illustrative’.
A website, currently in development, will feature centred type. ‘It’s not something that we do an awful lot, because normally it doesn’t look right, but with this we felt that it was suitable and gave a classical feel,’ says Arnold.
Rogan explains that, while the website for L’Enclume had to be strongly text-based to help communicate the culinary concept, Rogan & Company’s on-line presence will be heavily visual.
Unlike its Michelin-starred counterparts, the interiors for the first Rogan & Company venue will not be specially designed, reveals Rogan. However, once the concept rolls out further, interior designs will be needed.
‘I think if we were to move into the centre of Manchester and had a box, then we would need a strong design vision,’ he says.
As to whether the rural-based concept could easily translate to an urban location, Rogan says, ‘I think we have a strong-enough ethos. The fine food and concept are strong enough to transcend both the urban and the rural environment. It’s important for each venue to have its own character. We will let the food and produce speak for themselves. The product can adapt to the surroundings, and the interior design will follow.’
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