Mystery’s Creative Director Janfranco Caro (JC) and Sarah Mannerings, Head of Interiors will have few nails left to chew by the time they arrive at tonight’s Restaurant & Bar Design Awards.  This year we have not one, but THREE amazing design projects shortlisted: Adventure Bar, Clapham Junction; Dub Jam in Covent Garden and Butlin’s Firehouse in Skegness.

They’re all such different projects, but all incredible experiences, where we’ve surpassed not only our clients’ but even our own expectations (if we do say so ourselves!).

Mystery’s ethos is to make all its clients and projects brand-centric. There are no templates here. Every client or new project is viewed with completely fresh eyes, working from the brand’s core outwards with the aim of creating a brand experience that everyone will fall in love with and that are full of wows that give customers a chance to advocate through social media.

With all three projects, we started with the brand positioning and then worked creatively to convey its unique personality through the design concept and outwards to encompass interior design, digital and print media.

We defined ’Adventure Bar’ as a fun brand full of character, which developed into a time-defying design concept, splitting the building into a kitsch 1970s lounge and a Victorian ‘steampunk’ zone.  It’s like nothing you’ve seen before!

Adventure Bar’s positioning is summed up by Every cocktail adds to the story, where each space has been designed to encourage customers to make each visit there a fun adventure of their own.


If you go to Adventure Bar, Clapham Junction we challenge you to find some of the little surprises we’ve added into the décor and ornaments…The Diver’s Helmet and Weather Predictor have proved a great social media success, but can you find the rest?

As with so many urban bars and restaurants, Adventure Bar and Dub Jam are severely spatially challenged, so our use of space had to be clever, fun, imaginative and innovative.

Adventure Bar needed to get as many people into its long narrow space as possible, so we designed and installed fold-down tables for daytime diners that pack down to reveal smaller drinks shelves for late at night. Books and interesting accessories and art are cleverly set into recessed shelving.

Dub Jam, Mystery’s own venture, believes in the concept of ‘One Love’ – everyone being equal – and is on a mission to spread the joy of Reggae food and music to a new generation of customers.

Dub Jam Restaurant & Bar Interior Design

Originally the cloakroom for downstairs’ Adventure Bar, Dub Jam’s tiny space was a challenge all of its own. But we used its limited space to create the true beach shack vibe. Small, but perfectly formed and packed with character, it makes use of every little nook and cranny, managing to fit an open kitchen/BBQ grill area and seating for 20, not to mention a surfboard bar and loads of interesting memorabilia.

The Dub Jam rum shack is packed full of up-cycled home-made features, such as our lights made from re­claimed tin-cans and boat buoys; stools made from beer kegs and welded stacks of car wheels; while the walls are fly-posted with Trojan Records’ cover-art.

The design approaches embrace the Car­ibbean mentality of recycling and re-using and keep the brand feeling fun, honest, authentic and innovative.

Both Dub Jam and Adventure Bar are always packed, with punters happy to queue for a table and get in on the action.

Butlin’s challenge was to build on the brand’s heritage and position as a national treasure while breaking down any prejudices created over recent years.

The brief was to create wholesome food offering, which would compete against the fast-food brands found on the resort.

English National Ballet

The Firehouse at Skegness was a new build, offering us the opportunity to develop all elements of the brand from the get-go. Like one of those films where the locals all get together to raise a barn, we set about building a traditional barn style restaurant with a modern twist.

Traditional, rustic natural finishes and materials sit alongside a palette of modern colours and surfaces to reflect the brand’s longstanding heritage with modern values.

A barn with a Butlin’s difference, a meal at Firehouse has become a unique, all-engaging experience, full of compelling differences. We’ve created an original, engaging, energising, exciting space that everyone loves.

True to the Butlin’s brand, Firehouse is family-centric, a restaurant in which parents can still feel comfortable if their kids spill a drink:  a non-precious, fun, yet aspirational environment.

As ever, and as a team we put everything into our projects, so keep your fingers and toes crossed for Mystery and our clients tonight.