Born from the visionary minds behind Momofuko, Bar Wayo stands as the culinary institution’s latest outpost, celebrating the art of cocktail is taking the craft to new heights. The two-storey restaurant and cocktail bar is located in Manhattan’s historic Pier 17 South Seaport district and boasts an expansive outdoor terrace immersed in surrounding sights of the East River and beyond. Intended to serve as a destination of flavour, Bar Wayo was entrusted to Lightning Studio to further ignite the palette through light.

Lightning Studio’s approach to the project was informed by the intention behind the restaurant’s layout. Upon entry, guests are greeted by Bar Wayo’s plunging cocktail bar which shapes the main floor. Transparent refrigerators line the left-hand wall, creating a visual exhibit of fresh produce and specialized meats to whet the palate as guests enjoy a cocktail or meander to the main dining room housed on the second level. Beyond the ground floor entryway lives a heated outdoor terrace, perfect for all-season seating.

The Studio aimed to enhance the subtle yet distinctive moments which live throughout each space. Suspended above the bar, Lightning Studio’s created a series of linear grid lighting to create the effect of a coffer ceiling. Below, bottles of the finest liquors are back lit while the perimeter of the bar is bottom lit to bathe the space in warmth. To bring the wall of fresh produce to life, the Studio designed and installed bespoke linear light casing throughout the refrigerators with the ability to control light dimming and colouring throughout. Similar sensibilities are carried upstairs to the main dining room, accentuating intimate table arrangements and framing views of the East River.

To define the outdoor terrace as a year-round venue, Lightning Studio created a runway of light in a shade of clementine to mimic the restaurant’s signature colour. This punch of colour serves a dual purpose, also loaning itself as guiding pathway for guests selecting their seats. Used in tandem with the orange hues exuded from the overhead heaters, the Studio created a warm, intimate and welcoming environment through the art of light which effortlessly frames the views out onto the seaport. Through each space, Lightning Studio accentuated the simple and refined nature crafted for guests, while providing ample room for the flavours of Bar Wayo’s menu to shine through.

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