design:retail - July 2017 - 10
PUTTING ON A FASHIONABLE FEEDBAG
ROM PRADA'S BAR LUCE in Milan to Burberry's
Thomas's café in London, global luxury brands
are increasingly recognizing the part food and
drink have to play in enhancing the retail and
brand experience. Ralph Lauren is the latest to
follow suit in Europe, launching its new café adjacent to
its Polo Ralph Lauren European flagship store in London's
The prayers of the capital's best-dressed preppies have
indeed been answered: London now has its own version
of Manhattan's celebrity-filled Polo Bar in the form of
Ralph's Coffee & Bar, now open alongside the Polo Ralph
Lauren flagship on Regent Street. The intimate space, with
just 24 seats and 12 places at the bar, builds on the success
of Ralph Lauren's existing restaurant portfolio, which
began in 1999 with the RL Restaurant in Chicago (1999),
followed by Ralph's in Paris (2010) and 2015's acclaimed The
Polo Bar in New York, from which it takes its inspiration.
The London concept delivers everything fans of the RL
lifestyle could wish for. Paying homage to the equestrian
lifestyle long synonymous with Ralph Lauren in a clublike atmosphere, Ralph's Coffee & Bar features saddle
leather banquettes, a brass-topped bar, elegant dark wood
paneling and green billiard baize decorating the walls
with a collection of equestrian-themed artwork.
Conceived as an oasis away from the frantic pace of the
shopping streets outside, the interior's brown and green
hues and heavy use of traditional styles and materials give
the environment an instant heritage.
The classic setting is matched by an equally classic selection of coffee and cocktails with light fare that evokes
Ralph Lauren's American style and spirit with a European
sense of quality and tradition.
- Mark Faithfull