Restaurant. Bar. Event space. Music venue. Bodega. Café. Art gallery. These days you’d better be prepared to offer your customers more than just a plate of good food if you want to capture their imaginations, and that is what chef Paul Canales and his business partner and general manager Rocco Somazzi are doing at their multi-purpose venture Duende in Oakland, California.
All those elements come together in one imposing place – inside the Floral Depot, the renowned 1931 Art Deco building, clad in cobalt and silver glazed tiles which is an ornate an entrance as a restaurant could hope for. To achieve the interior look, the owners joined creative forces with Arcsine Architecture and Bay Area artists and craftsmen Sam Strand, Peter St. Lawrence, Adam Hatch, and Andrew Poyner. Together they have created a very outdoors-ey ambience, with wood cabin panelling and tribal murals on two sides, paired with a more industrial spattered brick wall at one end looming impressively up to the double-storey ceiling. Check out the lip-smacking menu, along with details of all the other going-on, on Duende’s website.