Taste Makers

A web exclusive glimpse into some of YOD Design Lab's wow-inducing F&B work.

Talk about variety. When it comes to eye-candy buffets, YOD Design Lab’s portfolio pretty much takes the cake.

For Boutique Design’s October edition, the firm’s founder, Volodymyr Nepyivoda, and its art director, Dmytro Bonesko, teamed up to drill down on everything from concept identity to the technical side of restaurant design engineering in a series of joint responses.

YOD Design Lab | Volodymyr Nepyivoda and Dmytro Bonesko

Volodymyr Nepyivoda and Dmytro Bonesko. Photo: САЛОН magazine

“We’re developing our skills all the time,” says the creative duo. “We try to keep moving forward and stay out of our comfort zone.”

Read on for a web-exclusive glimpse into some of the wow-inducing F&B projects the Ukrainian studio has completed in the past year.

Sazha
Sumy, Ukraine

Sazha | YOD Design Lab

Sazha. Photo: Andrey Avdeenko

If today’s diners want to know what’s in their food, this steakhouse delivers. Named after the Ukrainian word for soot, the 3,550-sq.-ft. restaurant takes visual cues from its eponymous black powder mass with black and gray tones accented with splashes of bright copper and blue furnishings and enhanced with light and shadows to evoke the flicker of fire.

Sazha | YOD Design Lab

Sazha. Photo: Andrey Avdeenk

The designers drew inspiration from food preparation for the concept, manipulating materials with heat and metal to reflect the cutting and charring of meat. Those materials include heat-treated granite and dry oak, hot-rolled, burned metal and thermal-printed glass. A large static screen showcasing X-rays of animals anchors the space and dissects the restaurant into two parts, while pendant table reference a conveyor in a butcher’s shop.

Food Space
Kiev, Ukraine

Food Space | YOD Design Lab

Food Space. Photo: Andriy Bezuglov

Forget everything you know about corporate food courts. This “Food Space” in Kiev’s business center features a game-inspired layout with co-working areas scattered among a series of six kitchens (main, salads, wok, fresh bar, grab-and-go and pop-up). Motifs inspired by both pop and street art decorate the 9,235-sq.-ft. venue, which pairs modern furnishings and fixtures with bold punches of color and neon signage. Industrial materials contrast with splashes of greenery to create a visual paradox.

Food Space | YOD Design Lab

Food Space. Photo: Andriy Bezuglov

The food court terrace is decked out with a large canvas titled “Pulp Fiction Monkeys” that melds two iconic works: Andy Warhol’s famed “Banana” painting and a piece by English stencil graffiti artist Banksy. The latter work depicts the Quentin Tarantino cult classic movie’s star actors, Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta, holding bananas in lieu of guns. The resulting mural takes Banksy’s playful interpretation a step further by replacing the human characters with monkeys.

Pesce al Forno
Odessa, Ukraine

Pesce al Forno | YOD Design Lab

Pesce al Forno. Photo: Roman Kupriyan

This Italian fish concept from restaurateur Savelii Libkin takes immersive environments to the next level—or perhaps more appropriately—below sea level. The F&B venue’s first floor features a knitted rope installation that covers the ceiling to resemble the surface of the seabed with craters and underwater geysers. Round glass globes suspended below the ropes mimic the floats for nets used by sailors.

Pesce al Forno | YOD Design Lab

Pesce al Forno. Photo: Roman Kupriyan

Meanwhile, the basement weaves in an underwater visual narrative with custom fixtures developed by YOD’s in-house studio. Their caustic effect suggests glimmering light in seawater, while the corroded look of the walls and other fixtures in the form of oblong bubbles creates a moodier atmosphere for evening gatherings.

Puri Chveni
Dnipro, Ukraine

Puri Chveni | YOD Design Lab

Puri Chveni. Photo: Andrey Avdeenko

Centuries-old Georgian traditions served as the jumping off point for this historic restaurant’s aesthetic. Translated as “our bread,” a symbol of goodwill in Georgian culture, the venue’s first floor is anchored by a large tandoor, which is used to bake long Puri, rounded Matnakash and boat-shaped Shoti breads. Lamps recall qvevri, a traditional ceramic Georgian vessel used for making, ageing and storing wine. Bold red accents reference the country’s flag.

Puri Chveni | YOD Design Lab

Puri Chveni. Photo: Andrey Avdeenko

On the basement level, exposed brick nods to the building’s past life while contemporary black fixtures lighten the mood. Even the bathrooms echo the theme of Georgian winemaking with barrels that have been de-constructed and integrated into the design.

BeerЖa
Kiev, Ukraine

BeerЖa | YOD Design Lab

BeerЖa. Photo: Roman Kupriyan

In this inventive 6,460-sq.-ft. facility, where guests can buy beer through a mobile app, air ducts and fire extinguishing systems are left exposed to create a chaotic web-like effect. Two lighting options for daytime and evening, respectively, supply design-focused illumination in this window-less space.

BeerЖa | YOD Design Lab

BeerЖa. Photo: Roman Kupriyan

The layout allows guests to fully view the venue from any place within it, avoiding isolated reception areas, private halls or the use of screens. Different areas and zonal lighting imbue a sense of intimacy and comfort without impacting connectivity.