Many will confirm, the Jatoba restaurant is one of the best tables in downtown Montreal. Yet, the sensory balance that co-owner Alexandre Besnard and interior designer Amlyne Phillips have achieved between warmth and refinement is just as impressive as chef Olivier Vigneault’s menu.

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Nicolas Urli, also co-owner of the restaurant, provides us with more insights on the project:

Who were the key people involved in Jatoba’s design and what role did each person play?

Alexandre Besnard from A5 Hospitality Group – Overall ergonomic and look and feel of the place. Defining the product itself as a whole and then seeing how that transposes into decor and ambiance.

Amlyne Phillips from La Chambre Design – Understanding the ‘raison d’être’ of the restaurant and then bringing it to life. Mixing chic and upscale casual. Preserving the elegance of the century old building while incorporating modern design items – for example the 70’s inspired chairs.

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What was the inspiration behind Jatoba’s design?

Alexandre Besnard was coming back from a week in London when he came upon the opportunity to acquire Phillips Lounge, an institution in the heart of Montreal.  The façade inspired a chic hidden eatery where fun food and groovy music come together. It was an effort to bring the perfect balance between classic and modern. Very London!

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What main design characteristics were you looking for or what was the main focus in designing the space?

Bring us to a place that not many people dare to go in Montreal. A place where chic replaces design but in a very accessible way.

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What design feature (or features) presented the biggest challenge to materialize?

High ceilings vs. cozy feeling.

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What design feature (or features) was the most expensive to materialize?

Everything!

 

At the back of Jatoba, a sumptuous terrace opens up during Montreal’s hot season to welcome 75 guests, while adding a more laid back ambiance to the actual cozy, yet upscale, overall atmosphere of the restaurant. Curiously, the expression “You first eat with your eyes” starts to make sense even before your first course is served!

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Pictures by Alexander Wiseman

Laurent Veilleux
Retail & Commercial Environments
Laurent specializes in business and e-commerce strategies. He loves to meet with the creative minds, developers and entrepreneurs behind retail spaces and commercial real estate.