Emily Andrews

Himitsu is the first full design concept project for Tom Dixon and his London based design firm, Design Research Studio, in the U.S.

Himitsu Named One of Eight Best-Designed Bars in the Americas

Himitsu, the luxurious Japanese craft cocktail lounge located in the heart of Atlanta’s posh Buckhead neighborhood, was nominated to the final eight best-designed bars in North and South America by Restaurant & Bar Design Awards. Co-owner Farshid Arshid is traveling to London for the awards ceremony on September 29.

Now in its eighth year, the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards is a globally recognized competition dedicated to the design of food and beverage spaces. With over 5,000 entries from the U.K. and 70 other countries in the past seven years, the Awards attract the world’s top designers, hospitality operators and judges.

“It is a great honor to be included in this prestigious list of establishments, all stunning and creatively designed in their own right,” says Arshid. “Himitsu emphasizes ‘shokunin kishitsu,’ the Japanese philosophy of unwavering devotion to the mastery of one's craft. Our nomination for this award is a tribute to our designer’s mastery of his craft.” Himitsu is the first full design concept project for Tom Dixon and his London based design firm, Design Research Studio, in the United States. Arshid says, “I wanted to introduce Tom’s mastery of design as a full concept in this project.”

Tom Dixon and Design Research Studios also designed The Mondrian London at Sea Containers, the Tazmania Ballroom in Hong Kong and the Eclectic Restaurant in Paris. For Himitsu, Design Research Studio created a darkly theatrical speakeasy, inspired by the rich colors and textures of the Todd Murphy painting “King of Birds.” The 12- by 16-foot painting, named for the R.E.M song, is the lounge's signature artwork.

Dixon and his team designed a raw yet sophisticated aesthetic, playfully offsetting slick metallic against rougher, natural materials while retaining industrial features and exposed structural details. An elegantly lit, beautiful copper bar is the centerpiece of the 1,300-square-foot space.

Himitsu is furnished with sculptural pieces selected to create distinct silhouettes. Smoked mirror and natural marble table tops sit on industrial Tom Dixon roll bases to form a tactile landscape of surfaces. The discreet staircase which runs along the natural cork-clad textured back wall of the bar gives a sense of exclusivity as guests are taken up to the upper level mezzanine lounge. An installation of Tom Dixon Melt pendants draws inspiration from molten metal and melting lava, emitting an attractive, mildly hallucinogenic light and casting an ethereal luminosity on the surroundings.

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