Carbon Bar

The Carbon Bar

A New Performance in an Old Recording Studio

The Carbon Bar is a 180-seat restaurant located in Toronto’s Moss Park district. Its name references the innovative menu of barbequed and smoked items whose aroma fills the 30’ high old television recording studio at the base of a 19th century warehouse building.

Pin stripes and mixingboard at entry.
Pin stripes and mixing boards at entry by Jellyfunk Creative.

The design accommodates a grand dining room, a more intimate bar, open kitchen, and private dining room. The Carbon Bar aims to set the stage for a new dining and drinking experience with theatrical lighting, rear-view mirrors, sets, and a green room that overlooks the main dining ‘performance’ space. Its awesome height is both pronounced and defined using architectural elements and lighting to strategically embrace diners in various seating scenarios.

The Carbon Bar sets out to create a relaxed environment within the grand and potentially formal scale of the old recording studio, while selectively taking advantage of the awesome height.

The illumination and acoustic challenges for dining and conversing in such a space were embraced as design opportunities, which worked to define and distinguish a variety of experiences within the large space.

Cultural elements in neon and fabric banners recall the history of the space to familiar locals and newcomers alike. The “Electric” neon sign, “Baby Blue” banner and plastic Disney characters punctuate the experience of this new setting for Barbeque, Kettle Corn and Split Pea Fritters.

Personal collections rotate at the ‘Chef’s table.’

The design devises a grid of customised, oversized pantograph lights, a series of table specific spots, neon accents, and a custom fabric chandelier that collectively define the zones of the restaurant now wrapped in routered, plywood panels like heavy stage curtains that are interrupted to expose Victorian brick, distressed concrete, and an unsightly duct absorbed by bands of colour much like a piece of installation art.

Project Facts

  • Client

    The Carbon Bar

  • Location

    Toronto, Ontario

  • Size

    2 storeys, 180 seats

  • Status


  • Sub-Consultant Team

    Structural — AMR Engineering

    Mechanical & Associates — Fu Associates

    Lighting — Lightbrigade

    Kitchen — Anjinnov Management

  • Photography

    Renato Cerisola

  • Artist / Graphics

    Graphic Design — Jellyfunk