Desert Cowboy

UAE: London’s award-winning restaurant, Gaucho, opened its second Middle Eastern outlet after Beirut, at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) in November 2011.

The interiors follow the trademark style created by Conceptualise, a London-based design team headed by Patsy Godik and Grant White. It has been working with Gaucho for 10 years and was hired to take the brand from its original concept to what it is today.

The Dubai outlet will feature Gaucho’s iconic décor of cowhide walls, blended with opulent black and white leather furniture, mirrored panels and crystal chandeliers but is tailored to the design expectations of the region.

The 160-seat restaurant will be spread across a double-volume space, with room for 100 guests on its private terrace that overlooks Emirates Towers with big windows. A glass staircase will link a nine-metre floating bridge between the 18-metre long white marble bar (which took a year to create) and the multi-level dining areas, with eight-metre-high floor-to-ceiling walls of multi-faceted glass. It also features a 12-seat private dining room and an eight-seat wine room.

“Gaucho is a lifestyle rather than a restaurant — it offers an experience through its food and design and it is for that reason we have chosen Dubai as a host to this superb lifestyle,” said Ryan Hattingh, international operations director, Gaucho.

Godik and White said the identity of the restaurant remains the same, with the black and white colour palette, along with the cowhide, and colonial elements from Argentina still making an appearance. However, they have used elements of Dubai in the design as well, without any constraints imposed on them.

“We have gone to town with everything that Dubai offers in terms of its scale. I think the design is modern, innovative and opulent, and made sure it has a wow-factor. We have had the opportunity to do something different in Dubai, whereas in Europe we haven’t done these things before,” she added.

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