Designed by Studio Roslyn, Superbaba is a casual, thoughtfully referenced and slightly quirky Middle Eastern fast-food restaurant in Vancouver, Canada.

“The crew behind Superbaba came to us inspired to make the best damn pita bread in the area” explain Kate Snyder + Jessica MacDonald
 of Studio Roslyn. “They looked to us to create a space that supplemented their desire to offer high quality, quick-service Middle Eastern cuisine.”

Studio Roslyn enjoyed getting to the bottom of what inspired the four owners to come together to bring this concept to the PNW. “What intrigued us most was everyone’s individual inspiration for this concept,” said Kate and Jessica. “Everything from ‘The Dallah Menu’s’ family history in Lebanon, the interest in the more ‘grungy’ signage found on every fast-casual storefront in the Middle East, and the aesthetic of over-saturated food photography typically seen there. Our goal was to marry these sources of inspirations into an artful space that would be at once intriguing and inviting.”

The interiors of Superbaba reference the strong arch motifs in traditional Middle Eastern architecture as well as quirky details found in diners and eateries. This nod to the traditional is offset with bold, contemporary colours of varying shades of blues, greens and pinks painted on the walls and used in the counter, shelving, and seating millwork. Plants, hand painted signage and warm lighting create a relaxing and comfortable atmosphere. The large Superbaba neon sign along with the light boxes on the exterior reference the neon seen everywhere in fast-casual spots in the Middle East.

“The choice to use a blue speckled quartzite for the countertop, the off-white textured walls and the warm wood tones came from referencing the details found in every grandmother’s home in Lebanon,” said the designers. Used in non- traditional applications and intentional placements, these materials feel relevant and new in Superbaba.

All of the artwork in the space was collaged and created by Studio Roslyn. They had a lot of fun with referencing the oversaturated (and seemingly unflattering) food photography seen in most donair shops. “We took photos of the food off of the menu at Superbaba and created a ‘surrealist’ version of people engaging with this food,” they said. Humorous and bold was the goal.

Creating a comfortable and intriguing space that was at once functional proved an interesting challenge. Working within a relatively small budget, the designers had to be very creative with materials and how they articulated the details. This meant working with typical utilitarian details and actualising them in a more deliberate and artful way.

“We feel that one success of this project is that it elevates and pushes the expectations of quick-service, fast-casual restaurants,” shares Studio Roslyn. “This excites us! We feel our job is to push people’s expectations of a space and push our client’s businesses to a place they thought not possible.”

 

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[Images courtesy of Studio Roslyn. Photography by Lauren D Zbarsky.]

 

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