New York architect and interior designer David Lesniak set out to create a semi-retro meets modern neighbourhood bake shop with the London-based American café, Outsider Tart. Lesniak and business partner, David Muniz, opened the first outlet in Chiswick, West London in July 2009.
The venue is a prime example of rough luxe, an authentic marriage of unexpected materials used in unprecedented ways; the vintage juxtaposed with the contemporary.
Lesniak has combined different styles and periods to achieve a heavy rawness veering on the artisanal. The concept is masculine, funky and rustic, yet tailored.
There are some striking details. In lieu of a pressed tin ceiling like the ones found in traditional American ice cream parlors, Lesniak has used more than 500 bespoke baking pans manufactured by Alan Silverwood to create a metal mosaic.
The centerpiece is a 20 foot custom made counter, a one off piece made from Corian, essentially a plastic with the durability of marble, using computer technology for the fabrication of the bakery's trademark tent stripe.
Shelving is nothing more than scaffolding boards put together in a more 'tailored' way to obtain long-term flexibility with a rustic charm.
Outdoor signage is made to look as if the letters have been collected from random sources and simply arranged to spell out the name. The beater insignia is just that, a giant beater on the side of the building.
Lesniak has combined styles and periods in a way which can only be described as measured imperfection. A collection of found objects put together with purpose.
The shop offers customers a unique taste of American bakery history, the food and interiors further complemented by original pieces of Outsider Art, created by those without formal training but with an intense passion if not need.
Outsider Tart was named as a cultural 2010 hotspot by the Observer and voted café/fast food outlet of the Year at the Restaurant Bar & Design Awards 2010.