in collaboration with matt abergel photos by jason michael lang
our second project collaborating with award winning chef matt abergel, Ronin is a minimal 14-seat jewel box of a project where every detail comes together with obsessive precision.
each random width floor plank, for example, was numbered so we could install them to align perfectly with the edges of the columns and the upholstered walls.
the unusual, internally lit display fridge (filled with a curated selection of sakes, shojus, and japanese microbrews) was custom designed to fit under an existing staircase.
the custom made bottle shelves (filled with Hong Kong’s best selection of rare Japanese whiskys) are illuminated from below, the glasses shelves are illuminated from above. all to create a warm glow within the space and eliminate the possibility of seeing a light source.
we designed custom chairs, tables, and barstools for the project that were inspired by the bucket seats of 70’s muscle cars, tom waits dive bars, and gentlemen’s smoking rooms.
matt and I traveled to Japan to source many of the elements, spending days in a little village to choose the perfect 150 year old log to cut into slabs for the thick counters and wide plank flooring.
the tiny washrooms are completely mirrored – floor, ceiling, walls, toilet and sink. The toilet is mirror polished stainless steel, sourced from a supplier to prisons. we designed the custom sink to match. the entrance is a blank facade – just a large powder coated steel sliding door with a wood handle. there is no signage, no illumination – the spirit of a speakeasy.