The link between dining and sex has long been remarked upon. But given the influence that restaurant and retail design seem to have on one another, dining should also be a preoccupation for those whose business it is to create new shopping environments.
The link between eating, well dining actually, and sex has long been remarked upon, with the usual thinking being that one tends to lead to another (irrespective of which comes first).
A correspondence between retail design and dining is less commonly talked about however. Yet given the influence that one seems to have on the other, it should be almost a central preoccupation for those whose business it is to create new retail environments.
If you’re lucky enough to have access to Pizza East, the trendy new eaterie in equally trendy Shoreditch, then it is easy enough to see the process in action.
This is a restaurant that has been open for a little over six months and is, well, an All Saints for those who want to eat. The exposed concrete beams are in place, the beaten up low-level lighting is everywhere and the communal eating tables have the same rough hewn, second hand quality that makes a visit to All Saints so distinctive. All that’s missing are the sewing machines.
There is something of a chicken and egg about this. All Saints has been up and running with this kind of store-fit for what seems like years, but then Pizza East just happens to be the latest example of a similar aesthetic.
If, for instance, you had been in one of New York’s more fashionable areas a few years ago, it would have been simple to find restaurants that bear all of the hallmarks that are to be found in most branches of Cult, Replay or All Saints, and many others.
The interesting bit is how relatively slow retailers have proved at picking up on the obvious attractions of reach-me-down chic — when restaurateurs have been using it as a design trope for so long.
There is always much to be said for sitting down with people you like to have something to eat in convivial surroundings.
But if you can genuinely say that you are doing so because you think the experience might translate well to the high street, then pleasure really can be mixed with business. And you never know your luck, sex might be involved, although there seemed precious little of it on view when your correspondent visited Pizza East on Friday night.