Japanese eatery Maido finds a new address inside a retro post office.
What’s the backstory? This St John’s Wood pile started life as a late-Modernist post office in the 1960s. If locals are to be believed, it was a regular haunt of The Beatles, the Fab Four often popping in to post letters. This year, it became the second outpost of fancy sushi restaurant Maido.
The Beatles? Yep, the former post office is a spirited frisbee throw from the infamous zebra crossing immortalised on the cover of the Abbey Road album.
Who designed the restaurant? The new interiors are the creation of London designers Che Huang and Alexy Kos, who work together as Child Studios, founded in 2017. The in-demand duo strive to design spaces that are both cinematic and nostalgic and have made their name with a 1950s-style interior for a Chelsea vegan pizzeria that’s almost entirely pink and a restrained retro fit-out for a Soho spectacle maker.
What’s the vibe? Taking strong cues from the building’s heritage, Huang and Kos leaned heavily on mid-20th-century aesthetics and classic furniture pieces to honour the past and give the space a Modernist anchor. Then there are the Japanese influences, such as rich cherry-wood panelling on the walls. The suspended grey coffered ceiling is a cool relief to the expanses of warm veneer, its geometric pattern echoed in the black quarry tiles on the floor. Did they retain any of the original PO? No but one of the most impressive elements – a curved wall of glass bricks that divides the space – nods to the building’s municipal past.
“The inspiration for this feature came from the façade of St John’s Wood Library, the building next door of the same era,” explained Huang and Kos. Nobody expects to find Japanese food in an ex London post office but close your eyes and imagine the sushi master’s central island counter replaced by the postmaster’s front counter and it makes a pleasing amount of sense.