LEO Bar & Restaurant

Studio Modijefsky‘s design for LEO in Amsterdam blends traditional ‘bruin café’ elements with contemporary twists, featuring intricate details, Pojagi plum curtains, marble elements, curated craftsmanship, mezzanine retreat, and an outdoor sanctuary.

  • area / size 1,507 sqft
  • Year 2024
  • Location Amsterdam, Netherlands,
  • Type Restaurant,
  • The Goudvisch Family is a group of bars spread across Amsterdam that have become renowned for blending nostalgic charm with modern flair. East Amsterdam now welcomes the latest addition to the family: LEO, who nestles on a corner of the bustling Beukenplein. Studio Modijefsky’s design concept blends the rich material heritage of the past with the innovation of today to imbue the essence of a traditional ‘bruin café’ with contemporary twists.

    A new dialogue with its surroundings
    The interior draws inspiration from the intricate chamfered details in the building’s architecture. It features outspoken textures and hues of soft lavender, grey and plum. Walnut coloured wood-clad walls blend with oak furniture objects to create a sophisticated but welcoming atmosphere.

    Pojagi plum
    Studio Modijefsky consistently seeks out innovative crafts and techniques. In designing LEO they integrated Pojagi, a traditional Korean textile art form. The Pojagi plum curtains are central to LEO’s aesthetic and their eye-catching patchwork texture introduces a distinct flair and elegance. Plum is woven throughout the space, uniting the curtains, leather upholstery and marble to lend cohesion and depth to the design palette.

    Marble mastery
    The impressive bar is formed of highly textured burgundy and white marble and accented with aged brass, dark oak wood, with a base of black and white terrazzo. It stands on a raised floor and acts as LEO’s focal point, commanding attention and inviting guests on a sensory journey through a soulful palette enriched with handmade details. The back bar is framed by a sturdy metal structure with a wooden backdrop which features integrated light boxes and a signature Goudvisch neon element that adds a dynamic touch to the traditional setting. An aged brass board displays the draft beer menu, while liquors are showcased in textured glass framed cabinets reflected in the back bar mirrors.

    Curated craftsmanship
    As guests explore the venue, they encounter meticulously curated details that elevate the experience. From the intricate wooden details to the bespoke lighting fixtures, every element is thoughtfully designed to evoke a sense of nostalgia while embracing contemporary flair. A standout feature is the Goudvisch logo, which as always in the Goudvisch family, is interwoven in the interior. This time it is artfully inlaid in marble in the wooden light ornaments, emphasizing the commitment to craftsmanship. The space is further illuminated by light spheres made from etched and cut glass, brought to life using traditional techniques.

    Mezzanine moments
    At the mezzanine level, guests enter an intimate retreat highlighted by vintage-style lamps with finely cut glass that cast playful light effects across the mirrored wall and bench below. This intimate setting, filled with custom wooden furnishings and a select range of artwork, creates a captivating ambiance that invites guests to linger. From here, they can overlook marbled spheres hanging above the café floor buzzing with activity.

    Outdoor sanctuary
    A charming terrace blends indoor and outdoor elements. Parasols, ambient lighting, and wooden windscreens combine to create a serene environment where guests can unwind and connect with the neighbourhood.

    Tradition in transition
    LEO captures the essence of Amsterdam’s rich cultural mosaic. By seamlessly integrating traditional elements with modern sensibilities it stands as a testament to the city’s enduring spirit, where hospitality meets design excellence.

    Design: Studio Modijefsky
    Photography: Maarten Willemstein