Kricket is the brainchild of chef Will Bowlby and front of house Rik Campbell, specialising in modern Indian small plates. Their tiny and much talked about first eatery, was squeezed into a shipping container within ‘Brixton Pop’. Kricket Soho is their brand new restaurant on Denman Street. We were delighted to be appointed to design Kricket Brixton’s Big Brother, beating off stiff competition from major Central London F&B fit out firms.
The Soho site has space for 70 diners and is laid out across two floors. An open kitchen and counter dining reserved for walk-ins dominates as you enter. The bar top is crackle-glazed lava stone and Kricket’s signature Bison illustration has been hand painted onto the wall.
Our design added molten bronze into the cracks of existing brickwork and inky washes to ceilings, with our artisan paint effects team working upside down on platforms and hanging contraptions. Gold was flaked into roughened plasterwork near the glow of wall lights. We also designed a beautiful brass globe hero light above the stairwell.
The restaurant launched just before Christmas and was immediately mobbed by walk-in queues of up to 3 hours. Pre-marketing had secured thousands of sign-ups and even Kricket’s investor couldn’t get a table on his first trip. For diners upstairs, a run of cozy rattan booths offer something for visitors not wanting to sit at the bar.
The previously gloomy basement now features a moody and unique cocktail bar where guests get to sample an array of Kricket’s punchy, Indian-inspired drinks, imbued with the flavours and aromas of India. The bronzed metal-topped bar is festooned with quirky Indian props sourced by our FF&E team, giving the Kricket mixologists one-off cups, shakers, pourers and swizzle sticks to create theatre with.
Featuring some particularly lovely custom stools we designed. The basement is also for reservable tables. We customised wait stations from vintage Indian furniture and our long campaign-style benches were designed for groups of diners wanting the shared table experience which gave Kricket its original credibility.
The basement also features a Private Dining booth to seat 12-14. Two extra long communal sharing tables were also designed to greet patrons familiar with the casual social dining of Brixton Pop.
In the basement PDR, our in-house graphic artists teamed up with British Indian fine artist Natasha Kumar to create a special wallpaper in the private dining booth. We got creative with assets kindly supplied to us by Natasha, deconstructing her architectural work, creating a bespoke wall mural. Adding edgy halftone and urban brush effects, with pops of Kricket brand orange, to create a unique and original wall mural.
Our hand-fired fishscale tiles were designed into the fabric of the walls, embedded within the plasterwork and brickwork in a fluid design, with bronze accents shimmering under the low light. Kricket pride themselves on their innovative fish dishes, so the scaly ceramics we found added an underwater feel to the lower ground floor space.
We wanted the washrooms to be dark and stormy, so painted them in a blue black with pops of Kricket brand orange on the splashback tiles. We had the utility sinks distressed and hand finished by our stripping back man and sourced a range of Indian props for in-cubicle shelving.
We wanted to steer clear of cliche’d props used for purely decorative purposes, and made sure our vintage finds also served a practical purpose. From antique propellors turned into candle sticks to Indian cowbells used to signpost last orders.
Taking inspiration from the vibrancy and humour characterising life in India, we wanted the space to have a playful but intimate feel to it. And to be subtle and original in our Indian-inspired detailing to create something unique for Kricket. We love our ornate Haveli doors and lights fashioned from antique Indian clock boxes.
The Clients hired us to design not only the interior but also the in-venue brand graphics, menus and signage. Determined to come up with something original, we crafted a range of quirky and playful icons and signs to guide customers throughout the space. All of which were crafted from stone or metal, or hand-painted onto surfaces.
Westminster Planning disallowed our beautiful antique Indian front door, as the actual front door. But we added a shot of Kricket character to the exterior, painting it in an inky blue black, embellished with a hand painted logo and custom designed bronze 90 degree sign. Bespoke designed fretwork panels based on the logo in the window add a touch of subtle branding and discretion for at-bar-diners.
Behind these glossy photos lies a complex dossier of technical design drawings, guiding the Client and contractors into how we expected our design concept to be brought to life. Our design for Kricket included everything from concepting to CAD Space Planning, preparing submissions for Planning, 3D rendering, graphic design, original art creation, full Technical Design, Sourcing, Specifications, Procurement, Tender, Handover and on site inspections.
Our photo-real CGI visualisations of our design concept are remarkably similar to the end result, which the Clients loved. We think photo-real renders are so important. They give the whole team, including the Contractors, a clear vision of the production values we and the Clients are seeking to achieve. 2D CAD drawings and specification alone simply can’t communicate that.
“RFTH are hungry and constantly over delivering. That’s important when designers can make or break your project. We had 5 big players pitch for Kricket and we took a creative spark and hungry over names in the industry who had completed more projects. We are very pleased with the results as well as the communication with us as the client and the build team to get the project delivered in a tight timeline. I will use them again.”
Kricket Investor, Chris Miller.
Managing Director of White Rabbit Fund.
“From pitch to design to delivery, we have been super impressed with RFTH. They have made a concerted effort to understand our product and ambitions, something which translates into the design and build of Kricket Soho. They have a talented and fun team which makes meetings a highlight of our week. We are looking forward to working with them on future projects.”
Front of House, Kricket.