Costa Kitchen & Bar is located on the beautiful coast of Santa Barbara, also known as the American Riviera. The setting inspired the menu of the restaurant, which in part informed the design direction. Inspired by Italy’s Amalfi Coast, home of the world’s best limoncello, the design for the restaurant brings a taste of the Mediterranean to the California coast.
The restaurant occupies a historic space that originated as a dining room in the 1930s. Over time, the space was expanded and reconfigured, creating a disjointed experience for the guests. The space was reorganised to create different dining zones and opened up to connect the different areas. Part of the interior was transformed into a patio to connect the restaurant to the views of the Pacific Ocean. The beams and posts in the bar and lounge are part of the original structure. It used to be the end of the building before it was swallowed up by the multiple expansions. Now, it beautifully defines the bar experience. A large wine room was included to celebrate the many great wines from the Santa Barbara region.
The dining room was intentionally kept intimate and rustic. The wire brushed ceiling panelling, white-washed brick walls and dark hardwood floor add texture and depth. A welcoming place for frequent visits or a special date night. The heavy architecture is balanced with the playfully scalloped, vibrant custom yellow chairs. The custom wallpaper at the end of the dining room references the presence of the lemon in the Mediterranean cuisine.
Beleco’s favourite aspect of the project was working with the historic bones of the space and integrating the design brief with a playful aspect. It’s the relationship between all elements that make the space successful, embracing the old, adding layers of textured materials and playful furniture. The moment you enter you know you’re in a place that serves Mediterranean food whilst being next to the beach.
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