Yaowarat



Bringing Bangkok-style Chinese food to Portland, OR.


Completed 2023

︎ Brand Strategy
︎ Logo & Identity Design
︎ Collateral & Signage
︎ Interior Design
︎ Custom Dishware
︎ Art Story
︎ Social Media Assets

Collaborators:
︎︎︎ Katherine Garber, interiors
︎︎︎ Danridge Geiger, Megan Goldstein, & Nui Sitthisak, contractors
︎︎︎ House of Vonne, upholstery


1. Discovery
Yaowarat is the latest concept of Earl Ninsom, a chef and restauranteur known for introducing Portlanders to hyper-regional Thai food. Ninsom grew up in Bangkok eating the distinct Chinese-Thai cuisine that has been honed in Bangkok’s Chinatown, Yaowarat. He partnered with long-time Portland big hitters—Eric Nelson (Phuket Cafe, Eem), Sam Smith (Tusk, Sweedeedee), and Kyle Linden Webster (Expatriate)—to make it happen.

2. Framework
Through discovery on a research trip Bangkok with the team, we knew the space needed to harness the vibrant energy of Yaowarat Road, the Chinatown of Bangkok. It’s a lively tourist destination rich with vendors, the scents of street food, crowds of people in wonderment, and endless bright signage.

3. Design
We created a brand that paid homage to the dense and layered Yaowarat Road: a logo with many lockups set in three languages, bright primary colors, and dense, vibrant signage. We even made our own bootleg Shell Shuan Shim sign. Inspired by the many thumbs-ups we saw there, we of course had to make our own.

At the same time, we applied that dense, vivid branding to the interiors. In true Bangkok fashion, we kept the existing elements (from Lazy Susan, RIP) and layered on top. On the bar side, we painted every surface an intense red, then added patterned wallpaper and art we had sourced from vintage malls in Bangkok. The dining side is slightly calmer, with a cloud of glowing lanterns (handmade especially for us by a woman named Thamaporn who we met in Bangkok) floating overhead. The styling has a lighter touch here, again with vintage art and objects, along with patterned fabric we bought from the Thai fabric market. The bathrooms offer a special surprise, one you’ll have to see in person :)


PRESS


︎ Portland Monthly’s Restaurant of the Year

︎ Yaowarat Brings Bangkok’s Chinatown to Portland

︎ Portland’s 10 Best Restaurants of 2023


︎︎︎ back to home

The Yaowarat logo in some lockups

The bar side of Yaowarat. The interior design is maximalist, lots of art and objects on walls and shelves, which are all painted red.

The dining side of Yaowarat. The interior design is quieter here, with light pink walls, wood and upholstery banquettes, and paper lanterns.

The signage we designed. One sign looks like the Shell Shuan Shim sign.





The dishware at Yaowarat has various logos on it. Branded dishware.