A Gastronomic Concept
Concept Store and Jaime Beriestain Café
While on the one hand the classic shops of Barcelona are under threat from shifting customer habits and changing legislation like the LAU, Ley de Arrendamientos (commercial rent control legislation), on the other hand a wave of sophisticated new retail experiences like this Concept Store are taking off and flourishing, destined perhaps to contribute towards the Barcelona that future generations will feel nostalgic about.
When we meet Jaime Beriestain has just found out that his Barcelona Concept Store and the eponymous Café have been featured on the front page of Chile’s best selling Sunday newspaper El Mercurio. Over late breakfast the already very popular café is busy, its meticulously designed interior characterised by the slightly retro feel of the furniture and light fittings is none the less on trend in terms of current Barcelona interior décor. Design and gastronomy are a powerful combination, restaurants like La Balsa (Oscar Tusquests), Flash Flash (Leopoldo Pomés), Il Giardinetto (Federico Corea + Alfonso Milá), and recently opened restaurants like Pakta (Equipo Creativo), Roca Mo (Sandra Tarruella), Boca Grande (Rosa Violán ) etc. have combined signature design and cuisine making them popular places in Barcelona. In such a competitive sector at such a precarious time does Jaime feel nervous embarking on an ambitious project such as this, “ I was born in a country that was always going through some recession or other, since I was small all the recessions going on around the world affected us, in Asia, in Europe, wherever …. whenever any country sneezed we seemed to catch cold. Recessions provide opportunities, they help us understand how to develop our businesses and where they should be going”.
Beriestain Café. View of the bar and dining room
The florist booth accommodated at the rear of the café
Jaime moved to Barcelona from Chile around the turn of the millennium, a successful interior designer his projects include the refurbishment of the Palace Hotel (formerly the Ritz) on Gran Vía and its delightful basement jazz club Rien de Rien. With the Concept Store venture Beriestain is both client and designer, bringing its own advantages and disadvantages. He enjoys the limitations and input that clients inevitably bring to a project while as the same time loves the freedom to improvise when coming across a new material or other opportunity when it comes to his own projects.
Furniture, decorative objects and design, homeware, textiles, books etc.
The café-restaurant interior is influenced by 1960s design, TV programmes like Mad Men have popularised the period but for Beriestain who grew up in an environment marked by modernity his preference and appreciation for this period is highly personal, “I was brought up around the time of mid 20th Century furniture, my house was tremendously contemporary for its time, the kitchen was really advanced with its orange colours, typical furniture of the 70s, white sofas and other designer pieces from that era ..…there is an essence within me that is reminded of the sophistication of that space with oversized furniture and obviously it’s something that I’ve experienced first hand, that I was brought up with, it’s not just about the design of a particular time but it’s part of who I am.” In fact the only contemporary design pieces he has used for his own private home is a series of Tom Dixon lamps, everything else is vintage design.
General view of The Concept Store
Nevertheless Jaime Beriestain cannot be accused of turning his back on the opportunities that modern day technologies such as just-in-time manufacturing present, in the same way that retailers like Inditex and H&M have revolutionised fashion Beriestain is currently working on a collection of mid-range priced furniture that he hopes to introduce to the Spanish market soon. He has already collaborated with Marset on a lighting range. He is also currently designing Rolling Stone’s veteran musician Ronnie Wood’s apartment in the Eixample neighbourhood. Meanwhile the Café and Concept Store with its timber florist’s booth at the rear and impeccable selection of furniture, banquette seating and exquisite table service provides a great advertisement for Beriestain’s skills as a designer, in this case recreating a kind of personal gesamtkunstwerk that is very close to his own heart.
The interior decor of the café is inspired by the 1950s Mad Men era
The lighting scheme is an important design element
- Jaime Beriestain Concept Store & Café
- C. Pau Claris, 167
- 08037 Barcelona
- t. + 34 93 515 0772/93515 0779