Bar Le Côte
Bar Le Côte is a seafood tavern in Los Olivos, California. Inspired by the daily catch of the Central Coast and the modern cuisine of Europe’s seaside capitals, the team prepares thoughtful maritime fare in a casual, social atmosphere. The restaurant’s vibrant, green interior and custom banquettes were fabricated by Helvey Design Studio, and the space is adorned with graphic Jon Flaming paintings of cowboys. The restaurant is a Companion Hospitality property, co-owned by executive chef Brad Mathews and Daisy and Greg Ryan, the duo behind Bell’s.
We started working on Bar Le Côte very early with Daisy and Greg, as the interior of the restaurant was coming together. Inspired by the tiles and bench shapes Helvey Design Studio was producing, we landed on a wordmark built from geometric, Art Deco letterforms, stacked together like a set of blocks. As well as referencing the space, the logo is also a nod to poster lettering and architectural lettering from the European port cities that were top of mind as Brad, Daisy, and Greg developed the restaurant’s ethos and recipes.
We also created a typeface based on the main logo. Functional and less abstract, it is able to do the heavy lifting of setting longer bits of text while still retaining the expressive tone of the logo. Reed Bradley illustrated the exterior of the restaurant, and we added an alternate script wordmark. There are also two monograms we designed for use on apparel—an elegant and calligraphic lockup and an ode to Elvis’s Taking Care of Business, lightning bolt definitely included.
Bar Le Côte uses our typeface Mara des Bois on menus and the website, and we created a color palette of greens and blues that again echoes the space and the sea. Much like Bell’s, Bar Le Côte’s visual vocabulary bottles a sense of a far off place and time, and yet also feels completely at home right now in California.