Fantastic to see our bar design client, MOTO London absolutely killing it since their launch a month ago. @moto.ldn is the UK’s first independent bar and shop specialising in craft Sake. Located in the heart of Covent Garden, Londoners and tourists alike are definitely on board to celebrate sake!

It’s been great fun working with founder Brandon Chin, Erika Haigh and the team on this fabulous new project, being given the opportunity to create MOTO’s bar design and interiors concept for the first site.

Moto aims to showcase sakes that are not available in the UK, importing them direct from quality craft and larger brewers in Japan to introduce and educate London in the delights of Japanese spirits with tasting flights and take home bottles.

For the concept, we wanted to stay away from traditional dark and cluttered Japanese bars and move towards something more contemporary. Japanese elements are conveyed through details, colours and finishes, but as subtle touches instead of being overtly “themed”.

With MOTO meaning ‘origin, basis or foundations’, we kept the materials and colour palette very simple; blending off-whites and greys with deep colours like rich burgundy and dark blue that you see on the streets of Japan and in traditional paintings.

The simple, almost industrial feel of the distressed walls, painted metalwork and exposed brick was a happy accident to a degree. We discovered the lovely brick wall when stripping back existing plaster and decided to embrace it, and it adds both warmth and charm to the interior.

Heavy but minimalistic shelving allows the sakes to stand out. The position of each bottle on the display matches its position on the sake menus, so customers can immediately see what they’re getting.

We used wooden furniture and cladding to warm up the interior – light ash for the benches and darker wood for flooring and table/counter tops. Subtle details tying back to Japanese culture are brought in with interior accessories, including wooden screens with hand-drawn sketches explaining sake production; beautiful opal reeded glass lanterns and ceramic string pendants.

A bespoke wooden door handle with etched text in black that says ‘good times only’ and that’s exactly what MOTO is about!

“Working with Mystery was a wonderful experience because the whole team strove to understand and realise our vision at every turn. We had very specific ideas as to how we wanted Moto to be actualised, so we needed to work with a patient and hardworking team like Mystery, that did not mind going back and forth with countless reiterations of our concept until we got it just right.  We simply love the whole aesthetic of our bar!” Erika Haigh, MOTO London.

Already proving very popular since its launch before Christmas, we’re sure Moto’s new and unusual concept will be a huge success with both locals and tourists alike.

Find out more about Moto on their website.