all photos by Keishin Horikoshi
New York bodegas and Tokyo Conbinis are conceptually quite similar in their ubiquity and convenience. But the experience of using one couldn’t be more different. Therein lies the intrigue of a new experimental restaurant opening in Harajuku, which will function as a casual café and eatery by day, a restaurant and bar by night, and feature the culinary art of Bronx-based Ghetto Gastro.
The all black interior of Burnside Tokyo is a reflection of Ghetto Gastro’s ‘Black Power Kitchen’ culinary style, which uses food to empower communities. The collective celebrates the Bronx as an inspiration and catalyst of global culture. “Burnside builds upon this creative energy where the Bronx and Tokyo meet,” says international architecture practice Snøhetta, who were tasked in designing the space.
Burnside Tokyo was produced by art collective en one tokyo and was designed in part by local firm Kooo Architects. The exact location of the space has not been revealed yet, but it’s appropriately located on top of a conbini — a Family Mart, to be exact — in Harajuku so it shouldn’t be too hard to find (but don’t confuse it with the pancake cafe Burn Side St Cafe also located in Harajuku).
Combini and bodegas have both cemented their place in the urban fabric of Tokyo and New York, servicing the random needs of local through ease of takeaway and staying open 24/7. “The transition between day and night, café and restaurant, is a driving theme for the interior design,” add the architects.
A dark material palette features amber-colored accents that reflect the changing light throughout the day while highlighting more ornate design elements such as the floral sculptures designed by Makoto Azuma.