Developing an experience that celebrates the interplay life's polar opposites.
Tea Lounge / Restaurant / Nightclub in San Francisco, CA
Both nature and life are filled with opposites that are necessary to create balance. With that concept as inspiration, we created the Poleng Lounge. Poleng is a place where people could experience the relationship between opposites like: night and day, bitter and sweet, health and excess.
Concept Development and Creative Direction
The name came from the Balinese philosophy of mutual duality called Rwa Bhineda. Poleng is the name of the sacred Balinese textile used to the balance of opposites. We designed Poleng to evolve into different forms as day turned to night. It was start as a tea lounge in the afternoon, that would evolve into a restaurant, and further evolve into a nightclub. People would be able to come to Poleng to have different experiences depending when they decided to come.
Bringing Bali to Cali
We wanted to transport people to another place so we traveled to Bali to get authentic decor and building materials. Using materials and pieces that were uncommon was crucial to bringing the spirit of Bali to SF.
Making Tea an Experience
Tea in Asia cultures is more than just a drink. It's a symbol of health, relaxation, and taking the time to appreciate the things around you. Poleng's evolution starts with tea in it's purest form. We used exotic loose leaf teas, unique teapots, and tea timers to engage customers and teach them about tea. To showcase the interplay of dualities tea was used as an ingredient in many dishes and cocktails.
A Unique Food and Beverage Program
As the sun set Poleng would evolve into a lively restaurant and bar. Poleng's menu featured small plates of Southeast Asian street food with an emphasis on bringing lesser known cuisines like Filipino food to the forefront.
To provide a balance to the calm of the tea lounge, Poleng would evolve into a nightclub featuring Dj's and musical acts from around the world after dinner. Although it's important to have purity and serenity in life, it's equally important to let loose, dance, and indulge.
After dinner service, we gradually transitioned the customer experience from tea lounge to night club. We transformed the space n subtle increments, the lights got dimmer the music began to change. The slow change in ambience would get dinner patrons in the mood to partake in the revelry to come.
In 2008, Poleng was named one of San Francisco's Top 10 New Restaurants and remained in the Top 100.