Australian design studio Biasol has recently completed Billie Buoy, a new retro-styled eatery in Essendon, Melbourne. Serving up healthy food and old-school tunes, Billie Buoy draws in young people and young families with its feel-good vibes of the 1980s.
The interiors and branding were developed in unison to create a high impact and strengthen Billie Buoy’s appeal. “We looked back to the days before Internet and cell phones – we dusted off our Atari and Walkman, put a John Hughes movie in the VHS, and jammed to New Order and Madonna – and conceived Billie Buoy as a 1980s character who was radical, hip and a little offbeat,” explains Biasol.
Occupying a corner location, the building has strong street presence to the front and side. Glass windows provide a view into the front of the venue, while the side wall is splashed with “Wake Me Up When I’m Famous,” providing a memorable backdrop for Instagram fame.
Every centimetre of the compact 60-square-meter space is utilized to its full potential. Designed somewhat like a diner, a corner of banquette seating is at the entry, flowing into the counter area with stools, which is open to accommodate circulation in and out. An arched tunnel leads to more banquette seating in the rear dining room and to the back-of-house. The arch is a distinctive feature throughout Billie Buoy, its geometric curvature reducing the height of the ceiling in places and softening the junction between ceiling and wall.
Nothing says 1980s like a palette of cobalt blue and hot pink. Blue is bold and moody, with textural materials – terrazzo, mosaic tiles, rendered walls and felt upholstery – to create depth, richness and variation within the singular hue. Brick flooring grounds the space, while the stainless-steel bar and arched shelving has old-school counter vibes. Hot pink and neon punch up the palette and help get customers into the groove.
“We developed the brand identity, including the signage, coffee cups, packaging and apparel, inspired by the bright, colourful designs of Memphis,” adds the studio. Rick Astley’s catchy lyrics are printed on the takeaway bags, and a Billie Buoy play on the Billionaire Boys Club is on the branded apparel.
A fun, youthful and retro-cool experience, Billie Buoy is where your feel-good dreams of 1980s nostalgia come true.