Persone Bar and Restaurant

Overlooking the Brisbane River from the podium of the new W Hotel, Persone Bar and Restaurant creates a unique, raw Italian environment that Plus Architecture created with inspiration from the authentic Italian laneway that sets this restaurant apart in Brisbane, Australia.

Persone brings about discovery and intrigue to this riverside venue. The thoughtful design creates a space of tapered light, paired with a little grit, to become a moody and memorable space that inspires feelings of curiosity and comfort.

The restaurant seats 210 diners, along with a 12-person private dining room with wine cellar and an outdoor terrace bar with lounge and dining. It appeals to the larger and broader demographic of Brisbane establishing itself as a place to enjoy artisan drinks paired with modern Italian cuisine.

The design brief received from the client was succinct. They requested a space that was equally edgy (‘New Italian’) and comfortable (yet not precious) with a little bit of grit in the design. The overall aesthetic desired was moody and atmospheric – emotion and feeling to be portrayed through lighting and fine details. The client wanted a space that would appeal to the broader demographic of potential diners.

The design team’s creative concept and design philosophy for Persone ultimately centered around expressing and replicating the unique feeling one may experience walking the streets of Italy, namely the quintessential Italian laneways. They were inspired by the sense of discovery one feels lazily strolling these laneways – enjoying the variety of textures, colours, history and the pockets of dining and entertainment found along the way. The designers embraced the idea of creating a focused journey that opens onto a space of celebration, or Italian piazza.

Reinforcing the concept as a modern interpretation of the historic Italian street, the palette used throughout was carefully considered. Paying homage to the historic Italian facades are the textured stucco walls and signage which are lit with bespoke globe lights inspired by streetlamps. Embracing the highly crafted ironwork often seen in Italian alleyway balconies, curved metal screens guide patrons through the space. The play of light and shadow in the main dining area wrapped in vertical mirrors elevates the dining experience, giving each seat an incredible river view and a lasting connection to Brisbane’s nightlife.

Design: Plus Architecture
Photography: Toby Scott