Designing and Building a Successful Cafe, Bar or Restaurant

By Mike Davies

In my 25+ years working with restaurant, bar, and café owners, I’ve learnt that successful businesses have three ingredients. Their owners have a clear focus on their customers, business smarts and an eye for creativity.

Those are precisely the ingredients you need to design and build commercially successful premises. The challenge of blending those ingredients keeps me passionate about architecture.

The hospitality business is crowded with choice. Your bar’s theme, or café’s ambience, can make the difference in creating a destination for diners and drinkers. Equally, getting the design logistics right can add tens of thousands of dollars to your bottom line.

So we decided to create “Architecture and Design NZ” as a resource for ideas and advice for the experienced, and potential, bar, restaurant or café owner.

Mike Davies is a Wellington architect that has over 25 years experience in the Hospitality sector designed dozens of cafe, restaurants and bars across New Zealand and Australia.  

Mike can be contacted at

View the following articles:

Your building is your brand. Today’s architect needs to be a designer and brand consultant.

‘As Loose as a Goose’: The ingredients in the design of the Wellington’s Premier Café – Spruce Goose