SHH serves up identity for Mayfair restaurant Umu

Umu, an upscale, Kyoto-influenced Japanese restaurant, will open its doors in London’s Mayfair next July, with interiors created by US designer Tony Chi and implemented by Spence Harris Hogan Associates.

According to consultancy creative director Neil Hogan, the job involves ‘interpreting designs, materials and techniques, and overseeing on-site work. SHH is also creating the restaurant’s brand identity.

Though the look of the restaurant’s interior is being kept under wraps, a spokeswoman confirms that it will be divided into three areas, including a central dining space, a sushi bar and a sake table that will be surrounded by ‘chilled sake display cabinets’. Devon-based master ceramicist Keiko Hasegawa is creating 300 pieces of tableware for the restaurant.

The restaurant’s identity will be ‘simple and elegant’, in line with its menu, says Hogan. ‘We’ve commissioned a Japanese calligraphy master to create Umu’s signature, and developed a modern, bespoke typography for [its name in] English,’ he explains.

Applications include signage, corporate stationery and menus.

Umu, which means ‘from the earth’, is the third offering in as many months from American company the Marlon Abela Restaurant Corporation. Earlier this year the company relaunched London private member’s club Morton’s and Michelin-starred restaurant The Greenhouse.

It also intends to launch a series of patisseries in the capital ‘in the second half of 2004’, according to a spokeswoman.

SHH won the work in December on the back of its existing relationship with MARC.

Umu will offer ‘reinvented’ versions of classic Kyoto food and 70 varieties of sake, and will be situated on the Bruton Place premises of renowned 1960s venue the Revolution Club.

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