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BIBO - Street Art Restaurant

July 31, 2014
Ana Bambic Kostov is an art historian with passion for contemporary art.

Furnishing upscale restaurants with art is hardly a novelty, but a new French eatery opened in Hong Kong can be singled out as the first in more than one way. The restaurant named BIBO is entirely inspired and decorated with street art, enabling the visitors to enjoy pieces by some of the most acclaimed names of the new contemporary movement. In a skillfully designed environment KAWS sculpture dwells next to Invader’s installations, while JR, Mr Brainwash and Banksy stand, or rather hang, along with Damien Hirst’s and Daniel Arsham’s doings. The very lucky residents [and visitors] of the great Asian metropolis now have a special place to merge two supreme pleasures – art and dining, while enjoying some of the specially created and innovative artwork within the restaurant space. The project was conducted in collaboration with Substance creative design agency.

BIBO Street Art Restaurant Hong Kong
Bibo – Bar; photo credit Nathaniel McMahon

BIBO – The French Place

BIBO is set inside a historic building on Hollywood road, which hosts a Parisian type saloon with beautiful marble flooring and tasteful light fixtures at the entrance. Designers had a tough job of connecting French cuisine with street art, so a story from the past was invented, where the diner was supposedly installed inside the deserted regional main office of a fictional French company, CGFT, La Compagnie Générale Française de Tramway. Furnishings that are used, timetables, ticket machines and other decorative details are all incorporated within the design to support the invented history. Art adorning the space is, as the story tells it, the work result of many artsy squatters who used to gather in what was an “abandoned” building, living, eating and painting.

BIBO Street Art Restaurant Hong Kong
BIBO Street Art Restaurant Hong Kong

Street Art + Fine Food

Looking from afar, the restaurant gives impression of a harmonious whole, but details reveal all the thought that went into the interior – Menu is printed in the form of vintage train schedule, for example. Brass piping remind of subway ventilation systems, evoking the underground nature of street art. The combination of specially made furniture, such as the stacked marble bar, supporting the artwork is filled with evocations of neglected spaces, dark urban corners suitable for street creativity, while each table in the space has been rendered individually.

BIBO Street Art Restaurant Hong Kong
Bibo – Identity – photo credit Nathaniel McMahon

Designers’ Challenge

Designers were keenly focused on marrying the two concepts – fine French cuisine and street art, succeeding in their endeavor, while the 1930s building came as an excellent foundation to build on. The space of the restaurant is visually coherent, yet cleverly broken into separate sections, following the seating arrangement and the areas. It’s opulent in the most modern way possible, with a deliberately unfinished feel, while keeping the classic chic of its signature gastronomy.

Having a three Michelin star background, Executive Chef Mutaro Balde is the leader of culinary team, while the bar is run by Alexandre Chatté, who mixed up a selection of forgotten classic cocktail of the 1930s.

BIBO Street Art Restaurant Hong Kong
BIBO Street Art Restaurant Hong Kong

One of the best features of the restaurant is a dimly lit library, with sofas, carpets and artwork, leading into the main area. BIBO, the first street art restaurant, is modern, elegant and visually exciting, inviting the hip, the classic and the evergreen crowd to come and enjoy the exquisite French menu.

BIBO Street Art Restaurant Hong Kong
Bibo – Lounge – photo credit Nathaniel McMahon
BIBO Street Art Restaurant Hong Kong
Bibo – Bar; photo credit Red Dog
BIBO Street Art Restaurant Hong Kong
Bibo – Restroom corridor – photo credit Nathaniel McMahon
BIBO Street Art Restaurant Hong Kong
BIBO Street Art Restaurant Hong Kong

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