Omer Arbel’s industrial-chic restaurant for Tacofino

Slide 1

The designer employs salvaged lumber and his wonderful 38 Series fixtures to create the first restaurant by the Vancouver food truck service.

When Tacofino, a food truck service specializing in baja-inspired tacos decided to open a permanent location – named the Tacofino Commissary – the owners called on local design darling Omer Arbel. Departing from the trucks’ vibrant orange-and-teal palette, Arbel opted to pare back the East Vancouver interior to create a laid-back southwest vibe.

He incorporated locally salvaged wood slabs as extended communal tables, benches, stools and the bar top. White powder-coated steel tubes prop up the tables and stools, creating a miniature forest rising from the concrete floor. The walls are coated in white-painted burlap.

But it’s Arbel’s sweeping chandelier that steals the scene. Made by Bocci (Arbel’s lighting design company) the piece consists of dozens of illuminated globes that double as planters. In the glass-blowing process used to create the 38 Series, anywhere from three to five white cavities – often colliding with each other – are randomly inserted. Each sphere, then, contains up to three lighting elements and two cavities deep enough to house dirt and cacti.

To enhance this eye-catching display, the installation is strung from stiff copper tubing, which playfully tangles and crinkles. Also filled with fauna, simple white vases interspersed throughout the installation are held in place by the same copper tubes. The dramatic treatment speaks to Arbel’s intention for the interior: to create a series of stratified horizontal layers that a guest disrupts as he or she makes their way through the room.

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