WHY THE NAME
The name of the 70s/80s queen of funk represents her exotic influences which match the concept perfectly. At the same time we just liked the sound of it. It makes you want to have a good time.
A long process of research and proposals brought us to the concept of Exotic Tapas from Asia, Africa, South America and Oceania. We thought it fitted the neighbourhood very well, the most culturally diverse of Barcelona, and it responded to the wishes of the client (also from an exotic background) for a fusiontype food concept. As many of the dishes (from Korea to Senegal) would be completely new for most customers we decided against fusion and opted for modern interpretations of the original dishes. To differentiate in the rather big venue, the ground floor, Chaka, is a more informal bar setting with light colours and materials and with tapas-style bar food , and the first floor has a more formal and darker tone and atmosphere .
We custom-made many items since it was hard to find fixtures that fitted within the concept. All bar stools are custom-designed, many of the tables, and most of the lamps as well. The tables in the first floor restaurant are big powerful elements made of cast concrete on site. The ground floor bar has a prominent place and with its 12 meter wide and custom terrazzo counter is not easily missed. The back bar features a concrete bottle shelf holding another imposing feature – a louvre structure of mirrors that create a visual bridge between both floors.
MOST DIFFICULT PART OF THE PROJECT
The Raval is the most special neighbourhood of Barcelona with lots of urban problems and a very specific local population. The client was determined to focus on a wider target market, which meant we had to create a project special enough to attract visitors from far. The challenge remains to actively pursue these potential clients through well-thought-out communication and other strategic actions.
WHAT WE ARE MOST PROUD OF
The modern “Africa meets South America” atmosphere is something we think is unique in Barcelona and even in Europe. To move the formal restaurant to the first floor has proved to be a golden move, and the big t-shaped tables and the open kitchen provide a very special atmosphere.
Brand identity highlights include staff clothing which are custom-made waistcoats of different African fabrics and menu cards with different types of custom-made wooden menu holders. Chaka Khan was our second 360 degrees art direction project, including Brand Strategy and marketing, and a very active role in the F&B strategy. Highlights from the brand activation include a Barcelona-wide poster campaign to announce the arrival of Chaka Khan in Barcelona, and recently the launch of the “Boom Chaka Laka Brunch”.