Incorporating Modern Elegance into Classic Bistro Settings
A Bistro is a simple and informal dining establishment. Like the Washington Place Little Italy, we know them for having an intimate and low-key ambiance. The ownership is often by a family, where the man is the chef, and his wife oversees the dining area and cash register. Like the environment, the menu is usually homey, consisting of meals like sandwiches, steak, chicken, vegetables, and legumes.
History of Bistros
It’s relatively common knowledge that bistros are of French origin. They started when Parisian landlords opened up their kitchens to tenants for an extra fare or other public members for a token. That’s most likely why lots of bistros also have inns for lodging. It was because of the house setting that the meals served were simple homemade dishes.
Their services were also cheap as there was no formality in the arrangement and the services provided. Bistro owners prepared the meals in large quantities, unlike some restaurants where food is made from scratch each day. They also served coffee and wine to their customers. These days, bistros still serve simple cuisine non-specific meals and have inns or hotels but usually now also have bars.
Elements of a Classic Bistro Setting
Now that we know the origin, we can understand that a bistro’s design would be to give a homey feel. The aim is usually to make the diners or customers feel like they would in their dining rooms while enjoying quality meals. Hence, the general ambiance is always that of simplicity and coziness. We’ll discuss some of the significant elements of a classic bistro below.
1. The Food
As discussed before, bistros are known for their home-style French cooking. They serve French pastries, meals like cassoulet, different types of meat, and beans stew. The aim is to provide simple but delicious homey dishes for the diners. Although there has been an evolution of the classic menu over the years, the idea must be the same.
2. The Lights
According to interior designers and decorators, the lighting of a particular room could determine the ambiance. For bistros, the aim is to provide a cozy atmosphere, so they use non-blinding hanging lights. That’s because they produce a warm glow that’s both welcoming and comforting. Also, appropriate window placements could have an impact on the lighting.
3. The Floors and Furniture
Most French bistros use a black and white checkered flooring pattern. However, some people believe that they also use hardwood floors. The tables are usually small or medium-sized, and they use chairs known as bistro-style. These chairs have a relaxed backside and promote the comfort of the pleasant dining experience.
4. Vintage Artworks
Many bistros have vintage artworks hanging on the walls of the establishment. The French are known for their intricate designs and art, and hence, most people feature any classic art, especially if it’s of French origin. Some people also recommend food art, i.e., pictures of food or anything food-related as long as it’s vintage.
5. A Menu Chalkboard
When bistros started operating, there was little to no technology and no way to show customers the meals they had. Instead of having to tell them to each person, they opted to write the menu on a chalkboard. That helped them pass across the message of what they had available for the day or week with less stress.
A Modern Setting
A modern bistro design combines class, elegance, and homeliness. You don’t have to change the whole design of the place to achieve that. Certain features add chicness to your restaurant. The first thing is the color scheme. Design experts recommend using bold colors and following through with it on all decorations.
Also, for the furniture, you could have tables without table cloths. You can use placemats instead, and this gives the place a refined look. Try to add plants and other things that increase the liveliness of the atmosphere. You can mix up the artworks and wall hangings as well by adding modern pieces with the vintage.
When purchasing appliances and decorations for your restaurant, you must ensure that they’re within your budget. Most people make a mistake assuming that spending much determines the restaurant’s quality. For example, a metal sculptor would want inexpensive instruments and safety gear, but that doesn’t mean he would turn out substandard work.
Hence, before redecorating or updating your decor, plan a budget to help prevent overspending. Another important thing is that you ensure to retain the integrity of the classic French bistro in this endeavor. That would include the menu, the ambiance, and the affordability. It gives absolute originality to your establishment.
Importance of Updating the Design
With technology and many other things changing, there are new styles that replaced specific ways of doing things. Therefore, you must update your restaurant to remain relevant to your customers. That doesn’t mean changing up everything, but mixing things up and accommodating certain modernities.