Café en Seine
Established in 1993, Café en Seine was Dublin’s first superpub and a leading destination venue.
However, in recent times it was under-performing and the once famous brand had become exhausted.
The general consensus was that the era of the superpub was dead, however, a brave decision was made by the operators to save the venue from redevelopment and transform it into a vibrant and stylish, all-day food and drinks venue.
While the motivation for the revamp was inspired by the underperformance of the café, the focus of the refurbishment was to save Café en Seine’s ingrained heritage as the first superpub in Dublin, not to mention its place in the cultural memory of the Irish capital’s inhabitants.
For design firm Millimetre Design the biggest challenge was to address the sheer size of the overall structure and the long narrow spaces within. The atmosphere was oppressive and the space didn’t operate well during the day.
With its enormous space and interlinking narrow corridors the building struggled for natural light.
But with the installation of a two-storey glass entrance, a retractable glass roof and a wall of glass at the back of the building, Café en Seine has become much more open to natural light architecturally, a condition which creates a sense that it has a natural connection to the city outside.
The element of light which was missing has now become a focal point of the interior experience.
Another significant change to the venue has been the complete redesign of the main Dawson Street entrance.
To address the issue of poor kerb appeal, the design team created beautiful new terrace and foyer spaces.
The existing double doors were replaced with bi-folding doors to create a new large covered, heated terrace area.
Attractive awnings and contemporary signage have created a very ‘French” and very stylish first impression.
Working with the client, Millimetre Design have developed a completely new Café en Seine experience, centred around the venue being more food orientated, a venue for casual coffee and meetings during the day, as well as a high energy venue at night.