Situated at the very top of the Champs-Élysées, the brasserie at Publicis Drugstore has been one of Paris' revolutionary hotspots for more than 60 years and now becomes Design Research Studio's latest project in the French capital.
The new restaurant and bar renamed Le Drugstore - is located on the ground floor of the iconic shopping and entertainment complex at 133 Avenue des Champs-Élysées. Founded in 1958 by Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet, founder of the world-renowned advertising agency Publicis Group, Publicis Drugstore was designed to bring American consumer convenience and bar culture to the Parisian public. Open until 2am, the complex offered a diverse array of goods under one roof and still does to this day - from books, pastries and jewellery to cigars and champagne. With uninterrupted views of the Arc de Triomphe, Le Drugstore and its year-round outdoor terrace sit at the heart of this luxury convenience store.
Following a complete strip out, DRS have simplified and enhanced the interior architecture to highlight a broad palette of extraordinary finishes and honest materials designed to lost and improve with age. The timber walls and unique marble bars are complimented by deep tones of oxblood upholstery and brass fixtures that combine to make a contemporary nod to the glamour and sophistication of the 1960's world of advertising.
Tom says: The unique Parisian identity of Publicis drugstore has always inspired me. I remember having bought there, late at night, aspirin. I remember of the Publicis' logo representing a lion, in stainless steel. It relates to a certain image of France. Modern, looking to the future. For this legendary restaurant, what interested me was to slow people down, to put them at ease. I also wanted to bring together a team around a project where everything would be orchestrated in a synchronised fashion, from 8am to 2am. I used the tradition of a classical brasserie decor and took it elsewhere, for from convention.
The Library lounge is inspired by the gentleman's study and offers a more intimate and relaxed dining experience. The lounge is framed by a bespoke brass and reeded glass bookcase, providing privacy and blurring the boundary between the retail and dining space. The lounge features a collection of the new Tom Dixon Micro Wingback choirs, upholstered in a charcoal grey and deep yellow wool. An open kitchen and patisserie serves as a window onto the world class cuisine of Éric Frechon, three Michelin starred at Epicure - Hotel Le Bristol Paris.
An exclusive range of seating has been designed especially for Le Drugstore comprising of dining and low and high bar stools. Fabricated in steel and upholstered for maximum comfort in leather and fabric, the range is inspired by a 1950's collection created for Publicis Drugstore by Mathieu Matégot, the celebrated Mid-Century French decorator.
The 550m2 interior is warmly lit with the main feature being an illuminated coffered ceiling featuring Tom Dixon's copper Melt Surface light which launched at Milan's Salone del Mobile in April 2017.
This simple but luxe palette is sympathetically translated in the conservatory and seasonal terrace. Both spaces embrace the flood of natural light acting as refreshing daytime alternative to the sultry evening mood of the brasserie's interior. Tones of natural green, the texture of rattan and the warmth of brass bring a sense of calm, tactile comfort and understated glamour to the bustling atmosphere of the 8th arrondissement in uncompromising style.