Barr Gazetas has designed the interiors for Brooklyn Bowl, a new entertainment venue sited in London’s O2 centre. The 2,973 space comprises a live music arena, a bowling alley, three bars and a restaurant run by American chef Bruce Bromberg and his Blue Ribbon Restaurants.
This is the first Brooklyn Bowl to open in Europe, with the first opening in New York’s Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in 2009. A third is due to open in Las Vegas.
The look and feel of London site’s interiors are inspired by its Brooklyn origins, drawing on the fairgrounds of Coney Island in the 1930s.
Features include a 7m-high pink and blue neon sign, a recycled timber plank entrance bay, recycled tires for the stage and a recycled corrugated iron roof with skewed triangular lighting ‘to create external focus, and internal drama’, according to Barr Gazetas.
Alistair Barr, project manager at Barr Gazetas, says, ‘When you think of bowling alleys in England they’re quite shiny, plastic places, so we did the exact opposite, with lots of solid timber and galvanized metal painted black.’
Barr Gazetas was appointed to the project in February last year, having worked with the O2 since 2004 on projects including designing the piazza in front of the centre.
The consultancy initially traveled to the original Brooklyn site to analyze ‘what was good about the original, and see it in all different modes, from a quiet Monday to a packed midnight,’ says Barr.
The founders of Brooklyn Bowl, Charley Ryan and Peter Shapiro, say the original venues interiors were designed in-house, as was the logo, which is carried through to the new London branch. Barr says, “The main logo has been transferred but everything else is up for grabs. I took the owners to Wilton’s Music Hall in east London, as I think there’s a lot of crossover with that sort of look and the Coney Island idea.”
Brothers, chefs and restaurateurs Bruce and Eric Bromberg have set trends and ignited passions for almost 20 years with their famed Blue Ribbon Restaurants. They have built their reputation on American comfort foods, and chops and fillets, all with an Asian flair. Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill is a gastronomic tour of the brothers’ culinary affections from their New Jersey boyhoods, education at the Cordon Bleu in Paris and New York City culinary eclecticism.
In their early twenties, Bruce and Eric Bromberg attended Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, graduating with the highest honors with Eric holding the distinction of being the first American to teach classes at the prestigious school. In the late 80s and early 90s, Eric followed cooking school with apprenticeships at top restaurants in France, including Le Recamier in Paris. He then cooked at Raoul’s and Jonathan Waxman’s JAMS in New York City, the American Hotel in Sag Harbor, and Nick and Eddie in Manhattan. Bruce also worked at the American Hotel before attending Le Cordon Bleu, and then apprenticed in Paris at Le Recamier, Bistro du Louvre and the Michelin two-star Duquesnoy. He learned the art of bread baking at Boulangerie Poilâne in Paris and haute cuisine at Michelin three-star restaurant Pierre Gagnaire in Saint-Etienne.
In 1992, the brothers created the first Blue Ribbon in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood, and it was an immediate breakthrough success. Blue Ribbon, or the English translation of Cordon Bleu, represents first prize, top quality, and references Bruce and Eric Bromberg’s culinary experience in France. The original Blue Ribbon restaurant ushered in a new era in dining, one with no reservations and an eclectic mix of familiar and fine foods dressed up or down.
The Brombergs’ only rule is that everything served be a simple, delicious and top-notch take on something they love to cook and eat. Blue Ribbon was a trailblazer, a fine dining establishment serving customers from 4:00 PM to 4:00 AM daily. As such, Blue Ribbon became a permanent destination for cooks, waiters, bartenders and other knowledgeable restaurant industry workers in search of an after-work clubhouse where they can always find food that is both delicious and interesting.
Bruce and Eric Bromberg released their first cookbook, The Blue Ribbon Cookbook, Better Home Cooking in April 2010 to rave reviews. In it, they share culinary secrets and wisdom learned serving and entertaining their clientele of culinary luminaries and neighborhood regulars alike. Most of the recipes are dishes from their restaurants that the Brombergs have carefully honed over the last 18 years.