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New interiors for Benihana expansion programme

US restaurant chain Benihana, which specialises in Japanese cuisine, has introduced a new interiors concept at its new Glasgow branch, which is planned as the first new site in a new expansion programme.

DesignLSM has designed the new interiors, working with the client to create a narrative based on the legacy of Benihana founder Hiraoki ‘Rocky’ Aoki, with ‘subversive’ visual cues chosen to evoke the energy and ethos of the brand.

The restaurant, located on West Nile Street,is lined with timber lattice screening that updates the distinctive Shoji screens seen across Japan.

Inside, a dramatically-framed cocktail bar welcomes customers. Traditional Noren screens are suspended above banquette seating areas, with hanging pendant lighting injecting a warm atmosphere.

The central dining area features a bespoke layout, with five live cooking stations where chefs can demonstrate the theatrical Teppan style of cooking. A further four stations are located around the perimeter of the restaurant.

The materials palette includes polished plaster, pale oak and charred timber, with tones of black and red.

Key elements of the design have been inspired by Japanese manga art, with anime-style artwork created by illustrator Siku Akinsiku to depict the life of brand founder Aoki.

“Benihana is such an iconic name. Being given the opportunity to reconceptualise the interior was very flattering. The design team thoroughly enjoyed developing the scheme and are really proud of the end result,” says DesignLSM associate director Anne Rhind.

Benihana has 116 restaurants internationally.

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