Cali Uptown Restaurant, Californian Mid Century Vibes in Paris

Acte 3 Architectes,

Le Boulicaut Photographe,



Interior Design,

Interior designers from the Los Angeles-based Studio UNLTD have created a new restaurant in Paris – Cali Uptown – with a strong connection with the atmosphere and lifestyle that inspired Southern California's modernist design movement. The result is a journey through time and space.

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Cali Uptown Restaurant, Californian Mid Century Vibes in Paris
An early 20th century building with art nouveau influences, located in Paris' 10th arrondissement neighbourhood, houses a new convivial restaurant on the ground floor, the new Cali Uptown. To build this restaurant not far from the Gare de l'Est, the clients commissioned Studio UNLTD. Founded in 2009, the Los Angeles-based Studio UNLTD is an award-winning design firm with expertise in the various disciplines of interior architecture, furniture design and lighting. An astute choice, as Capucine and Juliette, two sisters highly passionate about California and its lively lifestyle, wanted to bring the Californian mood to Paris by creating a vibrantly designed restaurant with a strong connection with the atmosphere and lifestyle that inspired the Southern California modernist design movement. The restaurant, in fact, is their second project after Cali Sisters, a restaurant inspired by Venice Beach. This time, however, the two hosts invite us to Palm Springs. As they explain on their website: "Cali Uptown is a concentrate of positive energy with a 1950s design look: a beautiful white brick façade, XXL bay windows, a flashy turquoise blue door, a terrace with two large palm trees, a lurking cactus forest".
The exterior of the restaurant, in fact, stands out for its brick façade, with the brickwork laid out in a modernist geometric pattern and painted in bright white. The entrance, on the other hand, is lined with peacock blue columns, sending out a cheerful welcome to the restaurant's customers. The interior architecture, with the architectural design by the Parisian-based studio Acte 3 Architectes is minimal, with the structural columns of the building stripped raw to expose the pale stonework, against which bold upholstery colours and accessories stand out, created with input from Studio UNLTD.
Natural light plays an important role in the interior design. It floods in through the large full-height windows and the newly installed skylight and is accentuated by glass globe pendants in different sizes. Small decorative globes, instead, illuminate the bar while oversized globes hang above the window seating. The reference to mid-century desert architecture can be seen throughout the space, particularly in the concrete breeze block screens with their dramatic backlighting, as well as in the pale, sand-coloured brickwork.
The horseshoe-shaped bar forms the true beating heart of Cali Uptown, characterised by an internally lit soffit emitting a warm light diffused through the translucent acrylic. The fixed bar stools are red and go well with the sage-coloured linoleum bar face, where they are paired with a concrete footrest that runs along the full length of the bar. The seating in the main dining room is varied and eclectic, all characterised by the very essence of simplicity. Tables sourced from American restaurant supply stores feature laminate tops, chrome bands and booth seating upholstered in ivy green vinyl, all inspired by vintage car colours that contribute to the air of authenticity of the space.
A huge skylight has been installed above an additional seating area, consisting of a long L-shaped table and yellow chairs which create the pleasant feeling of dining al fresco.
Lush plants found in the Cali Uptown dining room reinforce the connection with the outside and add an extra Californian touch to the space. A cheerful and welcoming project, where the interior design conceived by Studio UNLTD brings to life precisely that mood that Capucine and Juliette had in mind.

Christiane Bürklein

Interior design: Studio UNLTD
Architectural project: Acte 3 Architectes
Location: Paris, France
Images: Le Boulicaut Photographe
Find out more: https://caliuptown.thecalisisters.com/


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